I dare say that most of us live above ground, we don’t live in caves. Sometimes in the high heat of the day, I have wondered about finding a cave and living in it since the temperature is always significantly cooler than the ambient temperature above ground. But, needless to say, I use air conditioning and I am not a cave dweller.
However, I have been in a number of caves throughout my lifetime. In fact, a dear friend grew up on a farm on which there was a huge cave, and she played in it long before anyone realized how big and complex the cave system was. Later, Sequoyah Caverns, Valley Head, Alabama, was opened for public visits and we had multiple opportunities to see the inside of her childhood playhouse. Unfortunately, it has recently been closed to the public once again!
We know from early church history that believers resorted to caves and catacombs to escape from the intense persecution and to bury their dead. In fact, the catacombs in Rome show the inscriptions made by those early Christians.
How about you? Have you ever been in a cave? It is quite an experience to walk hundreds of feet down into the earth, to see the formations and underground lakes. I have not gone cave-exploring, spelunking, other than in commercial tours of well-mapped caves. The Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Missouri are some such well-known caves.
Each cave I have visited always includes the time when the guide tells you to hold hands and don’t move, then BLACKNESS. Such darkness that you cannot even see your hand inches in front of your face.
It is difficult to comprehend darkness like that, until you experience it. It reminds me of the description of one of the plagues in Egypt:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.’”
Can you imagine, darkness that was so pervasive and so intense that you could feel it? God is the Master Creator of all things. He is sovereign. He caused this darkness over the land of Egypt and it occurred at His command.
The Psalmist wrote of the scope of God’s knowledge of him, of God’s love and of God’s power in Psalm 139.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
In modern parlance, we might consider these verses as saying “God sees you even in pitch black darkness. No matter where you go, God is there and He sees you.”
We often think of darkness and light as equal counterparts, the flip side of the same coin. But that analysis is vastly mistaken, I believe. Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Thomas Kinkade, the artist known as the “Painter of Light” (thomaskinkade.com), said:
You have to expect spiritual warfare whenever you stand up for righteousness or call attention to basic values. It’s just a matter of light battling the darkness. But the light wins every time. You can’t throw enough darkness on light to put it out.
Scripture puts forth this concept in this way from the Gospel of John:
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Praise God, the Father Almighty, that Jesus Christ is the Light from heaven that shines in this dark old world.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
It is blessed comfort to know that the darkness of the cave cannot remove us from the Father’s sight. The darkness of our sin will not eliminate our relationship with the Father if we are found in Christ Jesus, His Son.
Praise God, and praise His Holy Son through whom we have forgiveness of sin and life everlasting.
Father, Your word tells us that we are never out of Your sight. We cannot run so far or descend into the earth so deep that You cannot find us, that You cannot see us, that You cannot hold us in Your hand. Such comfort is too marvelous for us to comprehend, but for the eyes and heart of faith. Thank You for Your word and for your marvelous love for Your children.