Darkness or Light?
Today’s reading: Judges 8-9; Luke 8:22-56
37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. Luke 8:37
56 Thus God returned the evil of Abimelech, which he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57 And God also made all the evil of the men of Shechem return on their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. Judges 9:56-57
Fallen mankind, darkened by sin, flees from that which brings peace. Today, we find two examples of this principle: the reaction to the healing of the demoniac man and the case of Abimelech and the people of Shechem.
Jesus, in a dramatic encounter, delivered a man possessed by innumerable demons. His symptoms included a lifestyle of homelessness, nakedness, and violent behavior. He had to be guarded and kept in chains, but even that was ineffective. Jesus healed the man so completely that when people saw him, clothed and sane, they were frightened.
Why did the people react with fear to the healing of this pathetic man? They saw that Jesus had power over demons. They saw that a herd of pigs had been destroyed. Peace had come to a human being previously held in bondage to Satan, but that did not give them joy and the expectancy of more good things to come. Instead, they asked Jesus to leave them. Sin-darkened minds prefer the dark to the light, chaos and violence to order and peace.
In a similar way, the people of Shechem chose, Abimelech, the violent, renegade illegitimate son of their former judge, Gideon, over one of his other seventy sons, like Jotham who showed considerable wisdom and leadership skills. In the end, Abimelech brought destruction on himself and all who supported him. The logical path of peace and an orderly transition of power from the late Gideon to Jotham did not appeal to the society.
Beware of loving darkness rather than light. John wrote, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:20-21). Apart from the grace of God, we flee from the light, straight into the darkness and the arms of the enemy. By God’s grace, walk in the light (I John 1:7) .