Summary: In the first Lord of the Rings movie Frodo is a given a light to help him when all other lights go out. The text I am preaching on today has been that kind of thing for me in my life, and it can be for you also.
A Message for When it is Dark Around You
Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite movie series, there is a line in the first movie that goes like this:
The light of Gladriel. [to Frodo] "I give you the light of Eärendil, our most beloved star. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out."
She gave him a flask that glows in the dark, when all other lights go out. At an earlier time in my life, God gave me a scripture that has been that kind of thing for me, a light for a dark time. It has helped me and encouraged me many times when I felt walls closing in around me, I pray today that as I preach on it, that it will become for you also, a light in dark times.
PPT 1 Message Title
PPT 2 Text
Micah 7:8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.
The text before us lays out 3 pains and 3 encouragements/strategies used by the people of God when it is dark around them.
1. The first pain is the taunting of the enemy.
"Do not rejoice against me O my enemy." The text intimates the enemies has been mocking in the believers ear.
We hear the enemies taunts echo in our minds. They tear at our trust in God, they test our most strongly held beliefs. You are not going to get better, God doesn't care, there is no hope for you.
Sometimes it is but a low whisper, more often it is the roaring of a lion. Jesus knew it and experienced it first hand:
PPT 3 Text
Mt 27:29 And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
The first strategy Micah speaks of is shown in his response to the taunting and is very instructive:
1. Basically he says, "shut up." Rejoice not against me, ie. be quiet! He refuses to listen to such taunts using the spiritual part of him to be a germicide. In the same way the mouth has organisms to fight the introduction of disease so does our spiritual man. Better to stop it at the gate, than to fight it after it has taken hold in your stomach.
2. His response indicates that he chooses not to be on that cheering squad. Some people join in the enemies chorus and start putting themselves down. There is no sadder day than when you join with the enemy and begin mocking yourself. There is a promised blessing for those who refuse to join with the mockers:
PPT 4 Text
Ps 1:1 Blessed [is] the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
It is bad to be scornful of others, but some people are scornful of themselves. Sometimes we have to say shut up, both to the enemy, and to our own negative spirit.
2. The second pain is that the people of God sometimes fall.
We fall into afflictions and distresses
Sometimes we fall among thieves (the object of the Good Samaritans kindness)
They: Rob you of your peace
Rob you of your joy
Strip and leave you naked
Sometimes we fall among thorns
Things that rob our fruitfulness
Sometimes we fall into sin
The second strategy employed by Micah is the expression of confident assurance:
"...though I fall, I will arise."
Not self-arising, but in context it is God who causes us to arise.
I am confident that He who has begun a good work in me..
2Co 2:14 Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
So Micah told the enemy shut up, and then he began encouraging himself and telling the enemy the exact opposite of what the enemy was taunting him with.
3. The third pain is sometime we dwell in darkness.
"...though I dwell in darkness..." KJV sit
dwell = Hebrew yawshab: dwell, sit, abide, inhabit. It can also mean to be caused to dwell.
There are places and times in life where we are caused to dwell in a dark place.
Dark because of difficulty. Dark because of an inability to see or comprehend.
Dark because you are not sure what's going on.
Painful because anytime in darkness fells like too much time in darkness.
The third strategy Micah uses is to acknowledge God never sits in darkness. Though we may experience a season of seeming darkness, the Lord will always be a light for us in a dark time.