When Darkness is a Feeling

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt." Exodus 10:21 (ESV)

You have probably seen Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in the movie classic, The Ten Commandments. The dramatic scenes unfold as God sends ten plagues over Egypt to convince Pharaoh to release His people from bondage. For the ninth plague, God sent darkness over the land.

Did you ever take note of the last word in the verse above?

The ninth plague didn't produce ordinary darkness. This darkness could be felt.

As we continue our journey through Lent, darkness is particularly relevant. Although darkness is the absence of light, it can also be a place.  

A feeling.

When darkness descends, eyesight becomes ineffective. Finding our bearings proves nearly impossible unless we've anchored deep in the bedrock of God Himself.

When the dark storms of life toss and turn our boat, we're at the mercy of the wind and waves. Anchoring deep in God and His Word prevents us from going adrift.

Anchoring to God means that light will return. Storms move through, but God remains constant.

It's interesting to note that darkness was the ninth plague. The severity of that plagues that God sent against the Egyptians increased incrementally. Each plague proved more harsh than the one before.

The tenth plague was death.

Darkness immediately preceded death.

It feels like that in our dark times, doesn't it? We don't think we'll survive. Darkness frightens us because we can't see anything familiar. No landmarks. Only flying debris. If we're not anchoring deep, we'll go down with the ship. Maybe not physically, but perhaps emotionally, and certainly spiritually.

If this Lenten season finds you walking through a particular season of darkness, anchor deep in the truth of His promises to bring good out of every situation. And hang onto that truth for dear life.

Darkness can be felt.

But so can God's amazing light, comfort, and peace within it. 

"He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; He brings light to the deepest gloom." Job 12:22 NLT

How do you handle dark seasons of life? What wisdom or experience can you share?


  1. I never thought of darkness being the plague before death; of course that can apply to life today as well as in Moses' time.

    During the darkest season of my life I could not concentrate enough to read any part of the Bible besides the Psalms, which often expressed my feelings precisely, and assured me that God was still with me. I've suggested to many people to turn to Psalms when they are in a dark season.

    1. Shelly, I love your heart to reach out to hurting people through the filter of your own experience. The Psalms are perfect.

  2. Through the seasons of raising special needs kids with serious, life threatening illnesses,the loss of great friends and parents, then my season of dark depression and crazy mood swings I do have to say the sustaining factor through these seasons as well as what brought me through incredible betrayal which for a period of time I may have faced a five year jail sentence on a false charge, it was God's sustaining grace and mercy through the studying of His Word and the power of prayer. His love shone through the faithful friends as well.

    er jail. T

    1. Wow, those are some incredibly hard, dark places, Betty. Keeping your eyes on His light made the difference - PRAISE!