Jeremiah 13:15-17, “Hear and give ear; do not be haughty, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, and before your feet stumble on the mountains at twilight; while you look for light, he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”
When I was younger, like a year ago, I had a hard time with watching anything scary. I could not even watch crime shows. I just did not have the stomach for it. It was like it opening up a new world of possible endings for me. The worst thing in the world is to watch Nancy Grace. Every situation becomes one big conspiracy, and then I wonder why my husband is walking behind me down that hall, so quietly. FYI, domestic homicides are the most prevalent.
A year later, I watch crime shows. I am kind of proud of myself that I can. I do not believe that those situations will happen to me because I see them on TV, anymore. I do, however, point out to my husband any similar situations which happen in public. If someone gets on a bus with a bag, I say, “They probably have lethal serum in their bag”. He just keeps looking forward and says, “Probably”. That amuses me more than anything…probably.
I still don’t watch horror flicks. At least crime shows can be based in reality. I do not subscribe to making scary things up. There are far more scary things than we can conceive of in this world. Satan is more horrific than we can ever imagine. Still, when I read this passage, I think, scary horror night…
With this ominous tone, let us examine this passage a little. We, as women, know how to talk. It is probably one of the key things that keep our minds from being still…from the presence of the Lord. When we are not having a verbal experience, we are talking to ourselves in our heads, making lists, planning on our calendars, wishing for clearance sales on designer bags. You know that someone has something important to say when they start with, “Shut Up!” He is leaving nothing to the imagination here. He spells out that we are on sacred ground. Someone more important is talking…this happens to anyone, everyday, with small children.
Next, we have the entire necessary action of the passage. Give glory to the Lord before he brings darkness. Why? What happens then? You can’t see in the dark. You are guaranteed to stumble. That is right; God knows that you will stumble. And, what do we do then? We go looking through our purses for something that might make light. We try to get our eyes adjusted, and think back to our wretched career as Brownies when they were teaching us how to make fire with sticks. Face it, ladies, we are helpless…there is no light. When this happens, our efforts and our plans fail. Mentally we know that the worst is upon us. The gloom comes and it seems like it just keeps getting darker. You can hear the owls hooting in the trees and the rustling of leaves around your feet. Remember that the blond girls always get it first in the horror movies.
Why did all of this happen? I believe that it was inevitable. Everyone experiences darkness. But, if the darkness is going to come, anyway, then why all of the tears? God told us the one thing to do that would save us in the darkness, but we did not listen to Him. He always tells us how to walk through, “the scary”. But we are prideful and we would prefer to rummage through our purse for devices, or try to remember how to create fire so that we can manipulate the darkness, making it tolerable. So, we are stuck. We are in the dark and we are taken captive by fear, gloom, and it just keeps getting worse. In those times, we are being wept over. Tears are running down the face of our Lord for His lost and desperate people.
Let’s return to the main part of this. Notice that He did not give a light in this darkness. In fact, He let it get more dark and gloomy. Instead, He gave us a quick warning before the onset of the dark. Give Me glory. Why would we worry about giving God glory when we are about to enter a dark and scary night? Wouldn’t it be smarter to be packing a flashlight and matches? No, because even a light in the darkness will not change that we are in darkness. We will be able to see, but even without a light you will know that it is scary. Light is useless in these times of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, hopelessness, or fright. We never see it coming, so get rid of the light, it won’t help. He tells us of the only useful thing that will help us survive these times. He is simply saying, “Set your heart”.
Setting our hearts is like digging our spiritual heels in the ground, a mental stance. It is like a hockey player setting themselves on the ice before someone tries to skate over them, a physical stance. Setting our hearts places our heart and mind on who God is, so we know what the darkness really is. It is on the outside. It doesn’t touch our inside. It is uncomfortable, and hard, but it is followed by light. And, when we know who He is, we know who we are. We can face the darkness because the light is inside of us…His glory. This is important because the darkness will come, and it might just get worse. Let’s set our hearts on His glory today, so we will be ready for whatever comes.
Lord, thank you for your words to us. We are not left unprepared or abandoned in this world. You have given us everything that we need to survive times of darkness, and even in the gloom we give glory to you. Glorify yourself today, Father. Amen.
BTW, something that I ran across, education for the day: