Rev. David Holwick (short sermonette)
First Baptist Church
West Lafayette, Ohio
December 24, 1986
It Happened At Night
Luke 2:8, NIV
Night is a foreboding time, even scary. We associate it with the unknown.
Night can also be a very spiritual time. I often study late into the night. It's quiet, there are no distractions. God seems closer, more personal. For me it's a time of reflection.
The writers of the Bible felt the same way. When your life is troubled you don't look forward to the night. Job said:
"When I lie down, I think, how long before I get up? The night drags on and I toss till dawn." (7:4)
In Psalm 30:5 it says:
"Weeping may remain for a night. (It concludes on a better note:) but rejoicing comes in the morning."
It's natural to feel all alone at night but fortunately we are never far from God's care.
The Bible also contains a symbolic view of the night. Night stands for the spiritual darkness of people's minds. John 11:10 says:
"A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."
An example of this is the traitor Judas. John 13:30 tells us:
"As soon as Judas had taken the bread he went out. And it was night."
Darkness stands for the evil age we live in. Romans 13:12:
"The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So put aside deeds of darkness."
Spiritually, Christians shouldn't belong to the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8 warns us:
"For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled..."
Two great salvation events associated with the night. At the birth of Jesus, shepherds are said to have watched their flocks during the night (Luke 2:8). And at the Second Coming of Jesus it is the nighttime that is portrayed:
"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or at midnight or when the rooster crows or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping."
Of course, Jesus could come back at any hour of the day, and it will happen at different hours for people around the world. But it is interesting that it is the hours of darkness that are highlighted here.
Night is not forever. Revelation 22:5 tells us that night is one of the things that will pass away when we see God face to face. In a sense, day passes away as well, because we will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give us light. What a special illumination! In the quietness of this dark night, let us search our souls for the light of the Lord Jesus.
Typed on June 28, 2005, by Sharon Lesko of Ledgewood Baptist Church, New Jersey
Copyright © 2018 by Rev. David Holwick
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