Treasures of Darkness (Introduction)

"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." (Isaiah 45:3)

Yesterday, I received a courtesy notification from Amazon recommending a list of books for my consideration.  There was one book of interest which lead me to the author's website.  While browsing the pages, I discovered a host of videos in the archives of which, one was titled, Treasures of Darkness.  The title alone was captivating!  Instantly, my soul was flooded with memories of God's divine intervention during a season of darkness that almost seemed to mock  the desperate cries of my soul.  But, in the providence of God's divine order, He manifested his glory in what was seemingly a dark and deserted place.  I recently learned that God's purpose for intervening on my behalf - far exceeded the depth of my cries and the darkness which held me bound.  And, what I had perceived to be an eternity of despairing darkness was revealed by our gracious  Lord as holy ground that had been cultivated during the night seasons which now, yields the Treasures of Darkness

If you are acquainted with Holy Writ, you would know that these precious words are traced back to the Hebrew Bible (OT), in Isaiah's prophecy about Cyrus.   Cyrus was a pagan king, whose destiny was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah at least 150 years prior to his birth, while Jerusalem was a prosperous city that would not be destroyed over 100 years by a Babylonian king named Nebuchadnezzar.  In the fullness of time, the prophecy concerning the ultimate destruction of Jerusalem was fulfilled.  Because of their rebellion, God allowed the enemy to break Judah's defenses, destroy the land and stripped Judah of her finest choice of  men/women/children, forcing them into captivity in Babylon under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. As an African-American, I can imagine the emotional turmoil  that the Jews experienced when they were being separated from their homeland, and how their captivity would impact future generations.   There is no doubt in my mind that the devout amongst them viewed their captivity as times of darkness and great despair, as there is biblical evidence  that they turned their hearts to God.  But, God had a plan!   In the midst of a dark and hopeless situation, God raised up a pagan king who would be (sort of) a messiah (anointed by God) to fulfill God's intended purpose for the Jews. Cyrus was destined  to be born at a time that was providentially choreographed and orchestrated by God for an established purpose, which ultimately lead to the release of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon.  In short, by the power & protection of Almighty God, Cyrus was used to dismantle and demolish the kingdoms of the world, and with their destruction came the spoils of war. The great riches that were hidden in secret places were revealed and laid at the feet of Cyrus.  The Babylonian Empire was one of the kingdoms that fell at the hand of Cyrus the Great!  The Biblical account of the prophecy and fulfillment  are recorded in the Hebrew Bible (OT) books.  Isn't it awesome how God will raise-up whomever He pleases as an instrument to assist with fulfilling His divine purpose in the earth?   

Many of us have had to face moments of darkness and we despair over our circumstances as a human response to what we do not understand or what we cannot control.  Our precious Lord tells us today that when we pass through the waters, and through the rivers, we shall not drown! When we walk through fiery trials we shall not be burned; neither shall the flames have power over us, because He is with us! (Is. 43:2) And, if God be for us, it is more than the trouble that has pierced our hearts!

God is that sacred place that we may run into and find security, rest and strength to endure the testing of our faith!  While He is protecting us, He is also working all things together for good of those who love Him, because we were called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  In other words, God's divine providence is working & His Spirit is working together to bring us into His purpose.  God has a purpose and a plan, and no matter what the situation or circumstances, His purpose and plan for our life is far more greater than the momentary darkness that seem to cause us to despair.  He has a plan when we are going through times of struggle, moments of insanity, sickness, abandonment and even when we go through the valley of the shadows of death.   He is not only working all things together for us, but also for those persons who will interact with us in our communities - wherever we may travel on a daily basis.    God grants unto us His grace and wisdom to use our experience with pain to assist others who are finding it hard to understand why they are having to go through such turbulent times.   There is a meaningful purpose for the pain that we endure.  But, it is a wonderful comfort to know that our gracious God & Father, who is Love, would go to the extremes to express His love for us, to us,  and through us, hence, Treasures of Darkness!

Jesus, who is the expressed image of God, demonstrated God's unwavering love for the world when he humbled himself to become "like" us, in order that the mystery of the darkness he had to endure (suffering & death) would save us from everlasting damnation in hell - separated from the graciousness of Almighty God for all of eternity; and,  the event of his blessed resurrection would justify us in the sight of God! Whereby the creature & the Creator is united in indissoluble union for all eternity!

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death
        even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)

...and for this cause we are made to discover the Treasures of Darkness!
"This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:10,11

Hebrew Bible (OT): Book of Ezra 1:1-4, 7, 8;3:7;4:3. 2 Chronicles 36:22,23
Isaiah 44: 26-28; 45:4, 5. Jeremiah 24:6; 31:28 & 40; 29.