By Femi Aribisala
God always seems to be missing in action when we need him the most.
Imagine you are at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan. Suddenly, some policemen come in to arrest him. The President refuses to alert the National Guard. He does not call the army. When one of his Secret Service details tries to defend him, the President restrains him. Then he tells his abductors: “Well, you guys could not arrest me before. But now is your moment. Okay, let us go.” So he holds out his hands and they handcuff him and lead him away. Would you not conclude something strange is going on?
Strange things happen in the bible. I am not talking about the Red Sea parting or the walls of Jericho falling down. There is nothing strange about that. But how come a Prince of Persia restrained God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer for twenty-one days? (Daniel 10:12-13). Who is this Prince of Persia? What power did he use? When Jesus was born; his parents had to run away with him to Egypt from Herod. What is the meaning of that? How can the King of kings run from a fake king? Why can’t God just send some anopheles mosquitoes to bite Herod?
Imagine a situation where a thief steals a car only to discover it belongs to the Inspector General of Police? What do you think he would do? Of course, he would return the car immediately. So answer me this. How can a so-called boss in the office sit on the promotion of a child of God? How can the Boko Haram successfully attack a church where sons of the kingdom are worshipping the Lord? How can? How can? How can? Why does God tolerate this kind of nonsense? If God be for us, who can be against us? I want to know the person. Who has the audacity? Who are you, O great mountain, to stand before Zerubbabel?
Power of darkness
God always seems to be missing in action when we need him the most. Where is God when armed robbers come into our houses and cart away our choice possessions? Where is God when sons of God are abused, mistreated, raped, plundered, and massacred? “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?” “Our God, our God, why have you forsaken us? Why are you so far from helping us?” (Psalm 22:1).
Indeed, where was God when they came to arrest Jesus? How come some evil men could arrest the King of glory? Jesus said to them: “Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment- the time when Satan’s power reigns supreme.” (Luke 22:53).
Are we hearing correctly? Is Jesus by any means acknowledging the power of darkness? Yes he is! This reveals an important kingdom dynamic: there are moments, even in the life of the Son of God, when Satan’s power reigns supreme.
Make no mistake about it; the power of darkness is real. Evil men have long tapped into it for diabolical means. The power of darkness arrested Jesus, nailed him to the cross and buried him in a tomb. What did God do while this was going on? Absolutely nothing! God just stood watching. But since the power of darkness is real, should believers fear it? Not at all!
Night and day
At the dawn of creation, darkness was everywhere. Then God said: “Let there be light,” and there was light. In bringing about light, God created time. Although light scattered the darkness, God nevertheless apportioned some time to darkness for better appreciation of light. He divided time between light and darkness. So darkness has its place and its use. God called the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” (Genesis 1:4-5). Unlike man’s skewed morning-evening categorization, God’s evenings come before the mornings. (Genesis 1:5).
As a result, the earth is bound by time arising from the interchange between darkness and light. Therefore, every twenty-four hours, we not only bask in daylight but are equally confronted by darkness. That is God’s providence. This means we must not be dismayed when it is nightfall knowing another day is coming. Jesus says evil is by appointment: “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34).
In this world, we must expect trouble and peace, sorrow and joy; and set the one against the other. We should accommodate both confident that: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). Why should the wicked prosper? That is like asking: “Why should night fall?” God has allocated a time, more like a moment, for the ungodly to prosper. Don’t waste your time envying someone headed for the firing-squad. Before he is executed, he is allowed to request whatever meal takes his fancy. Don’t be so foolish as to envy a man eating his last meal.
Supremacy of light
Know of a surety that light has supremacy over darkness. Moses says God made two great lights. The greater light rules the day: the lesser light rules the night. (Genesis 1:16-18). Light was made the ruler of darkness. Sunlight ruled the day. But even at night, God provided some modicum of light. The moonlight and the stars were made to rule the night. (Psalm 136:9). But darkness was not given authority to rule the day in any capacity whatsoever.
John says of Jesus: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4-5). Darkness can never extinguish light. It can never overcome it. Therefore, even in the darkest place, God retains some measure of light.
Jesus says to believers: “You are the world’s light- a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Ruler of darkness
Believers are called to neutralise the power of darkness. When light shows up, darkness must recede. The devil is a ruler of the darkness of this world. He is not a ruler of the light. He only operates in darkness; he cannot operate in the light. But believers are the light of the world. We not only rule; we overrule the darkness of this world. Therefore, as long as we walk in the light, darkness can neither comprehend nor overcome us.
Just as he allows darkness to come every night, so has God made allowances for the power of darkness to prevail at certain times. That is why Jesus was extremely time-conscious. He said: “I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4).
Why were they able to kill Jesus? They did so because it was it in the dead of night. But on the third day, very early in the morning, Jesus rose victoriously from the dead.
“Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isaiah 26:19).