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Treasures of the Darkness

Apr 11, 2019

The words “treasures of the darkness” are found in the second stanza of the song When Trials Come by Keith and Kristyn Getty. The entire stanza is as follows,

Within the night I know your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

These words, “treasures of the darkness” sound strange to my ears and perhaps to many of yours as well.  Treasures and darkness are not two ideas we often think of together. Treasures are things, people, memories, places, etc. that one cherishes, and which bring about feelings of fondness. Darkness is often associated with things, people, memories, places, etc. that one would rather forget and bring about feelings of fear, doubt, anger, etc.

So, what could these treasures of the darkness be?

Palm 119: 67, 71, 75 offer some insight.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. (Ps. 119:67 ESV)

Before affliction (darkness) came the psalmist went astray but now because of the affliction he keeps God’s word. The affliction (darkness) was the means used by God to bring about obedience.

71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. (Ps. 119:71 ESV)

In this verse we see that the psalmist thought it good to be afflicted (darkness) that he might learn the statutes of God. Again, affliction (darkness) was the chosen means of God to bring about the treasure of obedience.

75 I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. (Ps. 119:75 ESV)

Here the psalmist acknowledges that God’s rules are righteous and that the affliction (darkness) brought by God was done out of God’s faithfulness.

Some treasures of the darkness are coming to see the righteousness of God and learning to obey His statutes.  In the case of the psalmist, the darkness (affliction) was necessary that he would learn obedience.

Does affliction (darkness) lead you to see the righteousness of God and obedience to his statutes?

James 1:2-4 also sheds some light on what some treasures of the darkness may be.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
(Jas. 1:2-4 ESV)

Trials of various kinds (darkness) test one’s faith and produce steadfastness (patient endurance). The full effect of steadfastness will lead to maturity. One will be perfect, complete, and lacking in nothing. These trials of various kinds are not without purpose. They test one’s faith in order to strengthen one’s faith.

Another treasure of the darkness is steadfastness that leads to maturity.

One last text to consider.

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
(Rom. 5:3-5 ESV)

What treasures of the darkness (sufferings) are found in this passage? Suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character. Character produces hope. Hope does not put us to shame. Much like James 1:2-4, we see in this passage that suffering (darkness) produces endurance or steadfastness (patient endurance). The perseverance gained through suffering produces Christ-like character. The Christ-like character that is developed as a result of persevering through trials and suffering produces hope. The hope of Christ-like character does not put one to shame, “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” That is, the love that God posses has been given to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit resulting in our love for God.  The hope we set on Him will be shown to have been rightly placed.

Friends, trials will come. Darkness will come. Do you see the treasures of the darkness? Are the treasures of the darkness growing in your life?

By His Grace Alone,

Josh