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God’s Call In And From Darkness

We usually associate the call of God with light. We say that the call of God leads one into the light or that God’s call shines a figurative or literal light onto the path of the one being called.

The call of God to significant figures in scripture was sometimes surrounded by some kind of light.

The transfiguration of Jesus came from a light so bright that Jesus’ face “shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light,” and a voice from a bright cloud spoke to Jesus and those with him. (Matthew 17:1-5, NIV)

When Saul was converted and became Paul, “a light from heaven flashed around him.” A voice from heaven spoke to him and called him to become an apostle. (Acts 9:1-4)

Moses was called from a burning bush. (Exodus 2:1-4) Isaiah’s call from God involved a live coal that touched his lips. (Isaiah 6:6)

When God called Abram, blessed him to be a blessing, and told him that his descendants would become a great nation, there was no light. (Genesis 12:1-3) But later, we are told that Abram “fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” (Genesis 15:12) It was during this incredible darkness that God restated his call to Abram in a dream.

Of course, God can issue his call at anytime — with or without light. The fact that, at least part of Abram’s call, was made during deep darkness is interesting and encouraging. I suspect we have experienced more darkness, sometimes dreadful darkness, than some kind of miraculous light. During those times of darkness, we should not completely despair. It just may be that during one of those dark times, God will call us. He will call us out of our darkness into his light of hope.


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