If there is anything I despise, it is a centipede. To go down to the basement in the evening and come upon a centipede—no he doesn’t bother you. He scoots for his life so fast that you can hardly see him go.
But he was there enjoying the place, until I entered.
A lot goes on during the night. Go out to the garden on a summer night and you may be greeted by a skunk or a possum even on our premises here in the city. Most of these creatures don’t need light, because they can’t see anyway. Raccoons visit the garden at night to investigate the corn, and the rats find the tomatoes. They don’t need to be invited, and they don’t need daylight to find their food. And slugs—they are among the most disgusting of the night prowlers! Centipedes can have more than 350 legs. Some species of millipedes can have as many as 750 legs (who counted them!). And they can run fast!
And variety? There are more than 3,000 known and an estimated 8,000 species of centipedes. And millipedes? There are said to be upwards of 7,000 known and 80,000 estimated species of millipedes, all over the world.
Part of earth’s night life. But when we think of night life, we think of worse than centipedes and millipedes. Evil loves darkness, and today evil night life thrives all over the world. And one day soon—thank God—it will END!
Why is night always compared to evil, and the day brings in the good?
Jesus said those doing evil love the dark. Darkness makes a natural cover for evil. Jesus said it in John 3:
John 3:19–21 19And this is the condemnation, that the light [Christ] has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Paul compared the night to the time when evil thrives. Are we “of the day” or “of the night”?
Ephesians 5:8 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Our present time is compared to “night.” Being so near the coming of Christ, we think about the night as the time for evil. It is also the time for anticipation. It is also the time the thief would come.
1 Thessalonians 5:4–8 4…you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
Notice Paul’s alert: it is time to watch and be sober. The word translated sober means
calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect (Thayer’s Lexicon)
7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
The coming of the DAY brings the hope of salvation.
Malachi forecasts first the doom of the proud and wicked, then SUNRISE!
Malachi 4:1–2 1“For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the Lord of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
The rising of this SUN will end the night and its evil and wickedness that we see now, where the proud are raging and doing evil with both hands earnestly.
There are several other prophecies of this morning to come. It is said several times by the prophets, and each time meaningfully. The coming of Christ is the arrival of a bright morning full of hope and joy. It is the hope described by several of Israel’s prophets, even the minor prophets. Hear it from Zephaniah. First the night picture:
Zephaniah 3:1–3 1Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city! 2She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the Lord, She has not drawn near to her God.
Here is the key point: she has not drawn near to her God. In fact, she forgot God!
3Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; Her judges are evening wolves That leave not a bone till morning.
Her princes are like hungry lions and wolves. Symbolic language to convey their attitude: destructive to faith, defiant of God and disobedient to His laws. The result: they will have no part in the morning of delight..
Isaiah 8:20 carries the same thought.
Isaiah 8:20 20To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light [bright morning for] … them.
The definition of “morning” shows it is figuratively used of the coming new day of Christ. Literally translated it would read, “There is no bright morning for them.” (margin)
Thayer’s lexicon says the word translated “morning” is
“Metaph. used of felicity again dawning after misery.
Isaiah speaks again of joy and healing and glory to the righteous that same morning that will bring.
Isaiah 58:8 8Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
What will bring about the delight of the morning? Job says it is the result of pleasing God and keeping His law. It is the reward for right living.
Job 11:13–17 13“If you would prepare your heart, And stretch out your hands toward Him; 14If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away, And would not let wickedness dwell in your tents; 15Then surely you could lift up your face without spot; Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear;
Why no fear? A very good reason: You will not be haunted by thoughts or fears from the past. The passage ends with the bright morning to come.
16Because you would forget your misery, And remember it as waters that have passed away, 17And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning.
Here is that same bright morning of delight! It will be “like the morning,” because the morning of the eternal DAY will have come. No more fear of the night! It will be a continuous time of delight.
The morning WILL come, even though the night seems to go on and on. That extended time is for US! Time to get the work done. Time to get ready to greet the DAY!
One final passage from the Apostle Paul:
Romans 13:11–12 11And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
It is time to wake up and dress for the day! NOW! BEFORE the morning comes!
Because the night along with all the night life out there will soon END!