Walking in Darkness

Mike Tompkins | September 12, 2017

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1 John 1:5-2:2

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

—1 John 1:5–2:2, NKJV

Now here is an interesting thing: we do not see by the light of God’s words like we see with the eyes of our head. In fact, if we use only the eyes that God hung on our faces, we will easily confuse the godly and the ungodly, the righteous and the unrighteous; especially when the ungodly imitate the actions and attitudes of godly people (and vice versa).

Walking together along the path from Bethlehem to the tabernacle in Shiloh, it may be that not everyone loved God’s words as David did. Some may have headed for the sacrificial feast without stopping to listen to Samuel. Though sharing the same physical pathway, some walked differently in their hearts. The young man, Saul, may have attended the feasts commanded by God, and he may have traveled along the same pathways as the family of David. The physical strength of Saul’s appearance impressed everyone as they walked along together; and in the overwhelming consensus of Israel’s desire for a king, Saul’s apparent strength was the deciding factor.

But then Saul stopped showing up, stopped listening to Samuel, and stopped listening to God’s words.

So Samuel said:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,

And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

He also has rejected you from being king.”

— 1 Samuel 15:22–23, NKJV

Though Saul had attempted an imitation sacrifice, his obedience was a lie. In stark contrast to David, who meditated day and night, Saul stopped practicing the truth. He rejected the word of the Lord.

Questions for reflection and discussion: When have you walked in darkness, rather that practicing the truth? What does it look like to remain, with Him, in the light? 

This week's devotions were written by Mike Tompkins. Mike and his wife, Linda, have five adult children and five grandchildren. They found WBC in 1991, joined the Providence Adult Community, continued with Connections, and have shared life together with many small groups.

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