There is no question we are living in a dark and dying world. Watch the news. Read about what’s happening. Look around. It’s easy to get discouraged. But if you have the light of Christ within you, you are part of a nation of priests, a holy nation, set apart to show the blessings of being called out of this darkness into the marvelous light of Christ. It’s not just a cliché. This is real life. Christ told us in Matthew 5:13 that we are “the salt of the earth.” And in Matthew 5:14 that we “are the light of the world.” Salt and light. If you are a Christ follower, you are equipped with two powerful responses to this dark and dying world—salt, which seasons and preserves; and light which illuminates and gives hope. You have it in you.
The disciples of Christ also lived in a very dark time. Their lives were threatened nearly every day for what they believed. The Roman Empire was a harsh master. There was life and death persecution. While believers in Islamic countries may suffer similar persecution, the persecution we face in Western nations is one of encroaching oppression against our beliefs. We are labeled bigots, hatemongers, all types of “phobes,” for simply believing the Bible is true. The minions of darkness take great offense that the Bible does not validate or accept their corrupted ways. They seek to minimize and oppress those who disagree. This type of persecution becomes increasingly aggressive. I am reminded of the story of Gideon. The children of Israel having done evil in the sight of the Lord, He sent the Midianites to chasten them.
After their land was destroyed and the people impoverished, the Lord heard their prayers and Gideon was chosen to deliver Israel from the Midianites. An angel of the Lord told Gideon in Judges 6:12, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.” Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, which angered the Midianites, the Amalekites and their allies, which gathered against Israel. Gideon rallied the tribes of Israel to prepare for battle. But God would let him take only 300 men to destroy the Midianites. Gideon gave them trumpets and lamps. On signal, they would blow the trumpets and light the lamps, making the Midianites think there were far more Israelites than there were. The Midianites and their allies ran, and the tribes of Israel overtook and destroyed them in their fear. Herein is the lesson: Gideon was salt and light.
The salt was the destruction of the idol of Baal, surrounding the Midianite camp, standing for righteousness in word and deed. The light was the lamps that shown brightly against the darkness striking fear in the evil Midianites. You see, we are also salt and light, as Christ said. But if the salt loses its savor, it is no good. And one doesn’t hide his light otherwise darkness prevails. As encouraged in Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Don’t be entangled with the works of darkness, but be salt by standing and light in Christ, knowing all the while the promise of Christ in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always.” And that we are “more than conquerors” through Christ. Be salt and light, bring accountability and hope. The Lord is with you.