Trouble At Midnight

 

Job 34:20 KJV 1900

20 In a moment shall they die, And the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: And the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

 

Introduction

This weekend we take time out of our busy lives to focus on Memorial Day.  We remember, honour, and give thanks for those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.  Flags wave, parades are held, speeches are made, and taps are played to remind us of the brave soldiers who willingly laid their lives down in order to preserve the freedom that we hold dear.  As we think through the stories we have heard from WWII veterans, Vietnam Soldiers, and Middle East Heroes, we are moved at their tenacity, grit, and love for country that they displayed in their darkest hours, in their midnight hours.

All through out history, man has viewed midnight to be the time of fear, uncertainty and death.  It is a time when the normal pattern of sweet sleep can be disturbed with unexpected and unwelcome trouble.  In our passage this morning we read the words of Elihu, one of Job’s “friends”.  He is waxing eloquent about the way God judges folks who deserve it.  Job’s well meaning, but ill-advised advisor uses a very powerful word picture.  He tells about the terror that comes to those under the mighty hand of God when they face trouble at midnight.

Are you facing a dark hour in your life?  Are you, like the soldiers that we honor this weekend, facing trouble at midnight?  Brothers and sisters, I have good news based on God’s word and what it says about the midnight hour.  God is always in control!   The light of God’s love is not dimmed by the blackness of the midnight hour or the trouble it contains.

God uses the dark and foreboding hour of midnight to reach us when we need Him the most and call us to take action in order to benefit from Trouble at Midnight.

 

Heed the Warning of Trouble at Midnight

Judges 16:1–3 KJV 1900

1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

 

  1. Samson had been given marks of distinction as God’s chosen deliverer.
  2. He kept surrendering these marks of distinction one by one.
  3. His lust would eventually be his downfall.
  4. This was a warning from God to try to wake him up and get him to change his ways before it was too late.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV 1900

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  1. His last mark of distinction to surrender was his hair.
  2. Once he surrendered his distinction, God took his power away.

It could be that your trouble at midnight is designed to get you to rethink your choices, repent, and go in a different direction before it is too late.

Escape the Trouble at Midnight

Exodus 11:4–6 KJV 1900

4 And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

  1. The firstborn of every household was condemned to die, regardless of race or background.
  2. The only way to escape the trouble at midnight was to apply the innocent blood of the lamb to the doorpost.

Exodus 12:12–13 KJV 1900

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

  1. Jesus is coming back like a thief in the night and only those who are covered in His blood will go with Him to escape trouble at midnight.

Matthew 25:6–12 KJV 1900

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

  1. Death comes to us all, after that the midnight hour of judgement. Only those covered in the blood of Jesus will escape.

Hebrews 9:22 KJV 1900

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

There is coming a time of reckoning., whether it be the rapture or death, there will come a time that we will all be judged.  Only those who have transferred their trust from their works to Christ’s finished work on the cross alone will be able to escape that kind of trouble at midnight.

Sing Praises During the Trouble at Midnight.

Acts 16:25–31 KJV 1900

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

  1. Paul and Silas sang praises during their darkest hour of persecution.
  2. Every condemned and suffering soul heard the power of their praise.
  3. When the jail doors opened, the prisoners did not dare leave, because they were spell bound by this kind of powerful praise.
  4. It is because of this singing during the trouble at midnight, the jailer wanted to know how to be saved.

Psalm 40:3 KJV 1900

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

It may be that God has brought you to this trial in order for you to give thanks in spite of your situation.  Perhaps you are commissioned to sing praises through your trouble at midnight.

Find Hope in the Midst of Trouble At Midnight

  1. There comes a time when all human hope is lost.

Acts 27:14–20 KJV 1900

14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:

17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;

19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

  1. This hopelessness should drive us to seek God

Acts 27:21–24 KJV 1900

21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.

23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

  1. God gives grace to endure the storm.

Acts 27:25–27 KJV 1900

25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 6908 Roses Gathered at Midnight

It is said that the world’s best supply of perfume comes from roses on the Balkan Mountains. The flowers from which the lovely fragrance is distilled must be gathered in the darkest part of the night! The laborers therefore start shortly after 12 o’clock and conclude their picking within two hours. The brevity of the work period is based on scientific tests which have proved that during this gloomy interval the blossoms give their most pleasing scent, while 40 percent of their aroma disappear in the light of day.

Are you, like the folks we remember on Memorial Day, going through a dark and terrifying Midnight experience?  This did not happen randomly.  God has a purpose for your travel through this valley.  Perhaps there is a warning you must heed.  Perhaps it is escape through the Blood of Jesus you need.Perhaps you have a song to sing.  Perhaps it is the light of hope that you are meant to see.  Whatever the design, there is  something you can learn from your trouble at midnight.

 

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