If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.» – Psalms 139:11-12
On a backpacking trip in the middle of a state forest, my husband and I were amazed at how dark it was at night. Once we turned our lantern off, we couldn’t see anything. Our eyes never adjusted to the dark because of the lack of light. It was dark! I was reminded of how dark that forest was when my pastor read Psalm 139:11-12 a couple of weeks ago.
These verses follow David’s realization that no matter where he goes, He cannot flee God’s presence—even in the darkest of dark. Verse twelve tells us that “darkness is not dark” to God. In fact, “the night is bright as the day” for God. Not only does the darkness not keep us from God’s presence, it also does not keep us from being seen by God.
God is the God who sees. He is El Roi. He sees it all; nothing is hidden from His sight (Hebrews 4:13). This can both comfort us and make us tremble. He sees us in our circumstances when all we can see is darkness. But He also sees us when we try to hide in the darkness, thinking that no one can see our sin.
We ought to tremble before Him knowing that He sees us when we give in to temptation. He sees us when no one else does. We can’t hide under the cover of darkness, for the night is as day to Him. He sees it all. We tremble before Him not because we are afraid of Him, but because we stand in awe of Him and His all-seeing eyes. Knowing that we cannot hide from Him ought to cause us to be sensitive to our sin so that we can confess it right away. Knowing that He sees what we think is done under the cover of darkness ought to cause us to flee from that darkness. He sees and calls us to account (Hebrews 4:13)
We take comfort that He sees because His desire is to give us what we need (2 Chronicles 16:9). He sees us on our difficult journeys. He sees our struggles and our longings. Our burdens and our sorrows are not hidden from Him. He sees our lonely hearts and our crushed spirits. He sees our efforts that don’t seem to amount to much. He sees our steps forward that feel like steps backwards. No matter how dark our days or our moments seem, they are not dark to Him. He sees it all. What a comfort it is to know that when we can’t see in the darkest times, God can see. When we are groping our way in the dark, God is able to lead us because the dark is as light to Him.
Give praise to El Roi, the God who sees. Nothing about your life is hidden from Him. God is there in your darkness, and He sees you.