by Barry Newton
In my mind I can still hear Bill Withers voice coming from that old radio, “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, only darkness every day.”
How strange it is that while these words sweep us into identifying with gut wrenching sadness, when a biblical prophet lyrically casts a similar vision of gloom, people start checking to see how bright the sun is.
How would we describe our feelings if a foreign nation were to crush our country sweeping away everything we know and hold dear?
Singing the blues to Pharaoh about his future in encountering the king of Babylon, Ezekiel proclaimed God’s lament:
“When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken the stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over the land … when I bring about your destruction among the nations.” (Ezekiel 32:7,8,9).
Isaiah described Edom’s destruction:
“dead bodies will send up a stench … All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine … my sword … descends on Edom in judgement.” (Isaiah 34:3-5).
Warning ancient Israel that the day in which God would act toward them would not be a day of salvation but a day of destruction, Amos announced:
“Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. … Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light-pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? I hate, I despise your religious feasts …” (Amos 5:18,20-21).
Foretelling Babylon’s fall, Isaiah proclaimed:
“the stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” (Isaiah 13:10).
When God destroys, there certainly ain’t no sunshine, only darkness fills the day. So will the final day of the Lord when God judges everyone, will our day be one of light or darkness?
To avoid the epitome of the most gut wrenching despair imaginable by being unprepared to face God in judgment, we need to walk in his light now. We need Jesus.