Saturday, January 01, 2005

Treasures of Darkness: Explanation, Excerpt, Exhortation

"I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name

Am the God of Israel."

Isaiah 45:3


1. The Explanation:

I chose this verse for the name of my blog, because it is a very dear promise to me from God’s Word. I have struggled with depression all my life, and found even greater challenges to my emotional stability when I was diagnosed with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) after moving to Alaska.

The “Land of the Midnight Sun” has beautiful, endless summer days, but the winters are very long and dark. In Fairbanks, only two hours south of the Arctic Circle, on Winter Solstice, the sun barely peeks over the horizon and sets again in less than four hours. Considering that two of those hours are spent by the very gradual process of dawn and dusk throughout the winter months, the amount of sunshine is very minimal. That is only on the days that the sun shines at all; many times the skies are cloudy and overcast, which produces an eerie blue haze during the hours it is not pitch-black outside! Then, there is ice-fog to consider, which happens when the temperature drops well below zero, and an air inversion occurs. It is truly oppressive on these days, because the atmosphere is thick and foggy, like smoke, and the sunlight is further masked.

Many people struggle with the darkness, physically and emotionally. Studies prove that sunlight is necessary for Vitamin D absorption, and that ADHD symptoms improve after being outside in the sunshine, with green grass and trees. I won’t begin to address all the remedies and preventative treatments for S.A.D. or “winter blues” but suffice it to say it adds a new complication to the overall maintenance and prevention of Dysthymia: chronic mild depression.

Along with my life verse (Isaiah 60:19,20), the promise that my “days of sorrow will end,” God has promised to reveal His treasures to me, during the dark days. He promised to show me the hidden riches of secret places. Alaska is a vast storehouse of riches, like the gold buried in the mines, or oil coursing under the earth. He brought me here to help me obtain my inheritance, not earthly wealth, but spiritual rewards.

This blog will serve to record my thoughts along the way, as I seek these treasures and hidden riches. Much like a travel journal, this will be my account of adventures and pitfalls along my spiritual journey, until I receive my reward and my days of sorrow have ended.

2. The Excerpt:

Treasures of Darkness

I found this website after a Google search on “Treasures of Darkness”. This preacher has explained the verse in far greater detail than I ever could, and he preached this sermon in 1853!

Preached at Eden Street Chapel, London, on Tuesday Evening, August 2, 1853, by J. C. Philpot

"I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight – I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron – and I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who calls you by name, am the God of Israel." Isaiah 45:2,3

To whom were these words spoken? To Cyrus. And who was Cyrus? King of Persia. But how did Cyrus come to be introduced into the Word of God; and how did it happen that the Lord gave such promises to a heathen monarch? Cyrus, though a heathen prince, was an instrument chosen of God to do an appointed work, which was to overthrow the great Chaldean empire, take the city of Babylon, and restore the children of Israel to their own land; and therefore one hundred and seventy years before he executed the office thus assigned to him he was expressly pointed out and personally addressed by name in the record of inspired prophecy. What a proof is this of the inspiration of God's Word, and that all events are under His appointment and control! ...

"Treasures of darkness!" But is not this a strange expression? "Treasures of darkness!" How can there be darkness in the City of Salvation of which the Lord the Lamb is the eternal light? The expression does not mean that the treasures themselves are darkness, but that they were hidden in darkness until they were brought to light. The treasures of Belshazzar, like the bank bullion, were buried in darkness until they were broken up and given to Cyrus. It is so in a spiritual sense. Are there not treasures in the Lord Jesus? Oh! what treasures of grace in His glorious Person! What treasures of pardon in His precious blood! What treasures of righteousness in His perfect obedience! What treasures of salvation in all that He is and has as the great High Priest over the house of God! …

… But it is only as these
hidden riches of secret places are thus opened up to the soul that we see, or feel, or know what the Lord Jesus Christ is to those that believe in and love His holy name. It is this bringing forth of the hidden riches of secret places which stamps a divine reality upon God's Word, and makes it to be spirit and life to the soul. To feel the power and blessedness of these things is a part of that "secret of the Lord which is with those who fear Him;" and it is by getting into these blessed secrets, handling these treasures, and obtaining possession of these riches, that we come experimentally to realize what a blessed power there is in a divine heartfelt religion. We may see the doctrines plainly enough in the Word of God; but if that be all we know about them, it is like seeing money which is not our own, and casting up accounts of other people's property. The grand point is not only to see the riches, but to be put in possession of them. A religion without power, without savor, without a felt blessedness in the truth of God, by the application of the Spirit, is worthless both for time and eternity. …

…Now what springs out of having these treasures of darkness brought to light? A spiritual experience and a knowledge of God, and that He is the God of His people--
"That you may know that I, the Lord, who calls you by your name, am the God of Israel."

3. The Exhortation:

Are you struggling with depression? S.A.D.? or any other emotional disorder? I know a great Physician! He is also a wonderful Counselor! Need a referral? Write to me at I’ll be happy to share His name with you!

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