(12) They turn night into day;Job 17:12 (CEB)
light is near because of the darkness.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.
Today I have one more post on the Book of Job, though I believe this one will be the last. In the past few posts, I’ve written a few different things about suffering, and what we can learn of suffering from the Book of Job. Even if it weren’t the End Times now, human lives are guaranteed to have suffering. It’s a sad consequence of the fall and our separation from God. But until we reunite with God in Heaven, and He creates His new, perfect earth, this is the way life is. Life is joy, but it’s also suffering and pain.
That’s why it’s important to read Job and understand its lessons about suffering, because that’s something we all have to face. And the End Times are going to be an era of horrible suffering like the world has never seen. The Great Suffering will befall us. There will be (even more) earthquakes, famines, war, and many other tragedies and evil. It’s going to be the lowest point humanity has ever reached.
When we’re at our own rock bottom, we can say we feel like Job. Devastated and ruined, filthy, and sitting on a pile of ashes, crying out in pain and anger. As the End Times continue, we can say that the world is going to have its own “Job moment” as life gets worse and worse. More famine, more war … more of everything evil. It’s going to be the rock bottom for humanity itself, and the human race will be left wailing in pain, sitting on piles of ashes that used to be their homes.
But nothing lasts forever, including our suffering, which I’ve said many times in this series of posts on Job. Nothing lasts forever, good or bad. God didn’t leave Job sitting on a pile of ashes forever, and God won’t leave humanity in that situation either. We already know what happens at the end of the End Times, and it’s a good, beautiful thing. The final destiny for humanity.
Like with Job, although everything looks hopeless God is always with us, and He will bring something good out of something evil. Even the End Times, yes, even that. And in fact, as today’s Job reading hints at, when things look worst, change and relief are right around the corner. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and so on.
And that very idea is found in Job 17. So let’s turn one more time to the Book of Job and see what we can learn about suffering, Hope, and endurance.
Light Is Near Because of the Darkness
Job 17 starts with Job lamenting his tragedy some more. In verse 1 he basically says: “I’m finished, I’m done. I can’t go on anymore.” His spirit is broken, he says, and his life is over. But as we keep reading, Job says something interesting in verse 12.
(1) My spirit is broken,Job 17:1, 11-12 (CEB)
my days extinguished,
the grave, mine.
[… Verses 2-10, more laments …]
(11) My days have passed;
my goals are destroyed, my heart’s desires.
(12) They turn night into day;
light is near because of the darkness.
Light is near because of the darkness. In other words, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” Or at least, that’s what I thought of when I read this verse ….
To be fair, “it’s always darkest before the dawn” may not be the exact idea verse 12 is supposed to convey. Let’s look at other Bible translations of the verse. Here’s the NIV:
(12) turn night into day;Job 17:12 (NIV)
in the face of the darkness light is near.
And the ESV:
(12) They make night into day:Job 17:12 (ESV)
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’
These other versions seem to convey something more like: “God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalms 34:18).” As in, it’s easy to see and feel the Light of God when we’re in a dark place.
If we shine a light in the broad daylight, no one will see it because it’s already light outside. But if we shine a light in the darkness, people will see it immediately, since it cuts through the darkness. The Light of God works like this too. It’s easy to see His light when we need Him. When we’re in a dark, desperate place. When we’re at rock bottom. Then we know we need the LORD, and we turn to Him, and we can easily see the signs of His presence and love. When all around us is dark, it’s easy to see and feel any source of light, anything that can give us Hope. And no light shines brighter than the Light of God. If we call to Him, we will see His light in the darkness of our worst despair.
All that is true enough. BUT!! It isn’t what came to mind when I read Job 17:12 (CEB). What came to mind for me is, like I said, that things always look worst right before they get better. It’s always darkest before the dawn.
Always Darkest before the Dawn
When things are at their worst, when we’re at our absolute lowest low, there is at least one piece of good news we have: “Things can’t get any worse than this.”
That really isn’t much comfort at all … but it’s something. And actually, it’s something even nonbelievers who don’t have the ultimate comfort of Hope in the LORD can hold on to in the worst of their despair. It’s something that all people can take a little comfort in, in the worst of times.
When a crisis is at its worst … at least it can’t get any worse! And if something can’t get any worse … then logic says it can only get better!
This sounds flippant, dismissive of pain, and sarcastic, I know. And it’s cold comfort, not something that would encourage anyone in a tragic situation like Job’s. This isn’t something we should say to someone in a situation like Job (or if we do say it, we must be careful how we phrase it). It’s more something to keep in mind. Because no matter if it irritates us, these statements are still the truth.
It all comes back to the same point I’ve made again and again in this series of posts on Job. And now I’ll say it one more time, because I can never say it enough. Our suffering doesn’t last forever. No matter what it looks like or how it feels at the time, nothing lasts forever. God does not abandon us—when we don’t feel His presence it’s because He wants us to rely on our Faith in Him and keep trusting Him. We will feel His presence again, in time. In any case, nothing lasts forever. Good times or bad times, everything always comes to an end.
So when we’re going through a time of terrible suffering, like Job, we know every day that goes by brings us one day closer to the end of that suffering. Every day we get closer to the better times. Every day of darkness that passes, the light is one day closer. Every day of suffering we endure, our blessing gets one day closer.
When we’re in the darkness of suffering, we know the Light is near, and getting closer all the time. So we need to hold on, knowing that if we feel like our pain is at its very worst, things can only get better from there.
“The Light is near because of the darkness.” And that includes the darkness of the End Times.
The Ultimate Light Is Coming
Our whole world is in darkness right now; it has been ever since the fall. God first made this world to be a paradise, but it was corrupted by sin and the devil. Ever since that disastrous tragedy, we have been separated from God and lived in a fallen world that doesn’t live up to what God intended.
This world, like our lives and Job’s life, is full of suffering and pain. There is poverty, injustice, hatred, racism and prejudice, hunger, vicious wars, brutality, and so much more. A look through the Old Testament shows us this has been the case since the beginning of history. Ever since the fall, this world has been irredeemably messed up.
This world is in darkness, and it is darkness. It’s a fallen world, and life down here is pain and suffering. It’s also joy and happiness sometimes, but pain and suffering is an inevitable fact of life in this fallen world. And things weren’t supposed to be this way.
But the Light is near because of the darkness. The worse things get in this world, and the worse things get during the End Times, we know that the Light is closer than ever before. As The Great Suffering of the End Times reaches its most horrible point, we know God’s Salvation is at hand.
And what is that Salvation? How will it happen?
Never forget the promises of Revelation 21 and 22. When Jesus returns, this sinful, fallen world will be destroyed, and God will create His perfect new world. This isn’t a symbolic destruction—it’s literal. This world has been corrupted all the way through, and must be destroyed. BUT!! Once God destroys this fallen world, He will create His new, perfect world!! There will be no more death, injustice, poverty, hunger, hatred, racism, war, or anything else like that!! For all the old things will have passed away!!
(1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (2) I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (3) I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. (4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (5) Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” […]Revelation 21:1-5 (CEB)
This is the ultimate relief from God. This is the ultimate change in our fortunes. Instead of temporary blessings, instead of temporary relief here in this life, God will get things over with and destroy this corrupted world. Then He will make things anew, and make them the way they were supposed to be.
All the evils of this world—the hate, injustice, violence, inequality, and more—will be destroyed. This is better for humanity than any temporary relief of the problems here. This world has been corrupted beyond saving, and must be destroyed so God can remake it. But the souls of the Righteous will survive and enjoy this new eternal paradise, as Revelation shows us.
So as the world deteriorates during the End Times, and things reach their worst point, it’ll be horrible. It will be terrible to experience that, the rock bottom for humanity, the world’s lowest low. But we know that once things have hit their worst point, they can only get better. Once we get to this point, we know our Salvation is close at hand.
“The Light is near because of the darkness.” Remember that!! And in the darkness of the End Times, remember that the Light that’s coming is the brightest, most brilliant Light in all reality. It’s the Light of God, and the final Salvation for the human race.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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