I often walk our dog after dark. We don’t usually go very far, as she is currently over a hundred years old in dog years. We live in a safe neighborhood, so it seems peaceful to me to walk in the moonlight — accented by the sporadic street lights. It would be a different feeling if it was total darkness, or if there was a possibility of being attacked by muggers, wild animals or both.
I find it interesting that suspense movies most often take place in settings that are dark. For some reason most humans have what would appear to be a intuitive correlation between darkness and evil. For some reason evil seems to be more inclined to hide in dark places, hence, the intuitive fear of the dark that most humans display is perhaps not without warrant.
In our proverb for the day, the writer contrasts the way of the wicked with the way of the righteous using the metaphors of darkness and light.
14 Don’t do as the wicked do,
and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way.
Turn away and keep moving.
16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day.
They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17 They eat the food of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence!
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
Proverbs 4:14–19 (NLT)
Those who pursue wickedness stumble in the darkness, not knowing what it is they stumble over — in contrast to those who pursue righteousness walking in ever brighter light, able to see clearly the path they have chosen. The writer cautions us to “turn away and keep moving” to avoid being drawn into the net of those who “…can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day”. It is described as an addiction…”the wine of violence”, which both entices us to continue as well as blinding us to what we are doing. Move on! Don’t stop! Keep moving along toward the light where the difference between good and evil is clearly visible.
It is a frightening thing to find oneself in a kind of darkness that is entirely devoid of any light source. Places like this are difficult to find as most building leak at least a tiny bit of light somewhere. In absolute darkness it is easy to lose one’s directional bearings, and to become utterly lost. Any little glimmer of light becomes a beacon of hope in such a place. When Jesus uses the metaphor of Himself as “the light of the world” it is a reference to His victory over Satan’s forces of darkness which hold us in bondage—but only in the absence of light. Darkness has power only in the absence of light. As soon as a source of light enters a dark room, the darkness must recede. It would be absolutely futile to take a container of darkness into a lighted room in an attempt to push back the light. Similarly, those who pursue darkness and evil can only operate in the absence of the Light of the World. So the question we ought to asking ourselves as we make our way through the journey of life is “are the choices I am making causing me to move toward the Light? Or away from it?