Joseph Prince - Answers For Dark Nights And Difficult Seasons
Amen. I want to talk to you, I want to share with you about your night seasons. If you are going through something right now, even though right now you're on a high, you don't feel like you're going through anything, you know, you can tear a lion apart, and knock down that bear, and stone that Goliath, you feel like you're in that place, there are many who are going through a night season. And you know something? We will all go through it. This is not a prophecy, it's just something that it's life, amen.
As long as you're on this side of heaven, one day the Bible says in Revelations 22, "There'll be no more night in heaven". I love that phrase, "There will be no more night". "No more night. No more tears. No more pain, never crying again and praises to the Great I Am. We will rise and praise. The risen Lamb". Amen? Love your Lord. There'll be no more night, no more pain, no more tears, no more crying. Perhaps you're going through a dark season, perhaps you're going through a depressed, a depressed time, perhaps you're going through a time that you don't understand, you don't understand God even, amen? You know, the Lord knows what you're going through. More than anybody else, he knows exactly what you're going through.
And I just want to show you that in the Bible, the Bible talks a lot about night scenes, night events, night seasons. In Psalms 16, the Bible tells us David says, "I'll bless the Lord who has given me counsel. My heart also instructs me in the night seasons". If you are going through a night season, if not, just remember this Word that is coming forth because all of us will go through a night season. We need to know what to do during that time, amen? We need to understand what the Lord is after because he's not the one... many a times, when we go through a night season, a few persons might be involved. Number one is you. You got yourself into that mess, amen? Sometimes we ourself are the problem. Come on.
All right, if you offend your wife, you have a night season on the couch. That's not God's fault. That's not the devil's fault, amen? Number two, it could be the devil and most of the time this is the reason why there's no more night in heaven because there's no more devil. We are in a spiritual warfare. Let me tell you this, we are in a spiritual warfare. And pastors and leaders, especially after a great victory, after you preach a very good message, you feel you did very well that day, most pastors are most vulnerable when they go back. That's the time, even pastors become prone to pornography or become, you know, short tempered, and that's the time after a great victory, they don't understand it seems like the devil attacks them right during that time.
So pastors, especially after a great victory, remember this, it's time for us to really don't let our guard down and just rest in the Lord. And you ask yourself, "How come I feel like empty"? You just emptied yourself. You just emptied yourself because you served the Lord by serving his people, and you are empty. But remember to fill yourself up again. Remember that you're still a sheep and he wants to minister to you. Especially after a great victory when you come back, you are a sheep, remember that, and you need a shepherd's ministry. You need him to pour in the oil, and the wine, and the medicine. Will you allow him to do that?
Now, you can sit down and plop yourself in front of TV, but say, "Lord, I'm sitting before you, Lord". Make sure the TV show is good, lah, not something depressive, right? And then you just let the Lord minister to you. Say Lord, "I'm just a sheep. I need your touch, Lord. Give me a wonderful sleep tonight", amen? And he will do it. So, David even went through a night season and during the night season, the Bible says this. Y'all know this, "Joy cometh in the morning", right? But before that, what does it say? Weeping may endure for a night. Psalms 50, "Weeping may endure for a night". It lasts only, it endures only for a night. So, the night season is a season of trial, it's a season where you are weeping where it's not pleasant. You're wondering what's going on. But God says, "Morning is coming", amen, morning is coming. And with the morning, you know who comes in that morning? Joy. Here the word "joy" comes, it's like a person. The person of joy is our Lord Jesus. He comes in the morning.
Now, there are seasons of visitation. Now, many of us, we in the Word of faith, we say that the Lord never leaves us, nor forsake us. But let me tell you this, there are seasons of visitation. So, there are seasons whereby the Lord comes, he wants to fellowship. Y'all know those seasons, come on. How many can say amen? It's like a drawing. You want to read the Word, you want to read the Word, but the sports game is too fun. I mean, it's too wonderful. It's like, you feel a call, you feel a call. I mean, you can TiVo it, you can record it if you want, but "No, I just want to watch it now", amen? But you know something? If you open up the Bible, it will jump out at you. Those are the seasons when you are yoked with an older ox. Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you".
By the way, the yoke that Jesus gives is easy and his burden is light. So, in those days what they do is that they were yoke an experienced ox with a younger ox. You know what's a yoke, right? You know the ox cart, bullock cart. Where are my Indian brothers? Are they here today. All right, so, ox cart, you know, the older cart, older ox on the cart. When an ox that's experienced turn right, the younger one better follow or else he'll have a sore neck, right? When he turns left, he better follow. When he moves, you move. When he stops, you stop. Even when he rests, you gotta learn to rest. When he's not doing anything, don't do nothing, amen. When he drinks, you drink because if you don't, "I don't feel like drinking right now", then later on you want to drink, there's no fresh Word. There's no refreshing.
So, when the Lord speaks to you, respond. So, when the Lord drinks, you drink. When the Lord responds to you, okay, I didn't plan to say all that. Somebody need to hear that. Thanks to you, I take some time to sidetrack and go on a rabbit trail, okay? So, remember this, joy comes in the morning. Now, even for us Word of faith people and we Word of grace people, we who are filled up with the Holy Spirit right now, we are excited. We have partaken of the Lord's Supper. We have received from the Lord, amen? You just took the Lord's Supper, right? Amen. You have people that are tithing like where Abraham was, he received Communion. He tithed as love, as thanksgiving to the Lord. And then you should think that he's in good place, right?
The very next chapter it says, "After these things", in chapter 15, verse 1 comes after Genesis 14, which is where Melchizedek met him. He has partaken of the Lord's Supper. He has responded to the Lord. The Lord has spoken the words that he's blessed. "Blessed be Abram of the Most High God". He's in a very good place. This is Abraham after the conference. And the Lord says, "After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield". If it's a vision, that means it's a vision of a shield, magen in Hebrew. Magen, magen is like a shield, and it's not just a shield like a Roman soldier has a shield in front, it's a shield that is all around. It's a shield that's all around. "I am your shield, and your exceedingly great reward". This Hebrew word, "your exceedingly great reward" is the word, "reward" here is the word they use for salary, amen?
Now, we know that he has just tithed, right? So, I'm not just saying that it's because of the tithe, I'm not saying that, but what I'm saying is that the Lord wants his eyes to be opened two things. Number one, don't be afraid. Now, why would Abram be afraid after a great mountaintop experience, after a great experience that, you know, it's a conference? Why should he be afraid? Well, he just conquered four generals and their armies. Come on. He got back, not just Lot, a lot of spoils, and the victory was given to him by the Lord. Now, he's thinking maybe, you know, how many of you have moments whereby, you know, you're praying for the sick, and great things happen, and wonderful things happen and bang, all of a sudden, you know, in the middle of the night, you start thinking to yourself, "Whoa, what if the devil counterattacks, and I've served the Lord, what if, what if"? Come on, have you been there before?
So, probably Abram was tossing and turning thinking, "The enemies are coming, the generals are coming. What am I gonna do"? And that's why the word, the first word is, "Don't be afraid". Al-tirah, al-tirah in Hebrew, "Don't be afraid". And the word came to him in a vision form, it's a shield. See yourself surrounded with a shield. At night when you're under attack, you can't sleep, see yourself safe. See yourself surrounded by a shield, surrounded with songs of deliverance. Job says, "Where are the people that would say, where are they, literally, where are they who would say, Where is God my maker who gives songs in the night"? Songwriters, it tells you clearly in the Bible, God gives songs in the night, also, the night seasons.
Now, when I talk about night here, I'm not just referring to the night seasons alone. It can be your night, literally the greatest problem you have, the greatest challenges are at night. Maybe you can't sleep well, this message is for you. "What is happening? Why nighttime is so severe for me? Why is it so depressive? Why is this so hard for me to sleep"? That's for you as well, literally your own night. You know, there are seven nights, night scenes in the Book of John, exactly seven no more. Each one has a significance. The very first night scene, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. And the fifth one, by the way, Judas betrayed Jesus in the upper room. And the Bible says Judah left the upper room and it was night. Whenever you turn your back on Jesus, it's night, very significant, very telling. Seven mentions of nights in the gospel of John alone.
So, here Abraham is experiencing, and I know he's tossing and turning. How do I know that? Because later on God told him, "Abram, come out and count the stars, or see if you can tell the story of the stars". Remember that? Same scene, so I know he was tossing and turning, he can't sleep. Doesn't say that God gave him a dream. It says the Lord, the Word of the Lord came in a vision. He was lying down there, he can't sleep. So, now as Abram's seed, as sons and daughters of Abram, remember this when you can't sleep, see the shield. Sheep cannot rest when they are insecure, amen? And feel secure, don't be afraid, al-tirah. Tell yourself, don't be afraid. The Lord is a shied unto you. "But I've spent so much". He's your exceedingly great reward, not just reward, not just great reward, exceedingly great reward, like the land flowing with milk and honey. One translation says very, very good land. Literally in the Hebrew, exceedingly good land. God doesn't stinch on you, amen? It's not just a good land, it's not just a good reward. It's exceedingly great reward, amen?
And also this chapter Genesis 15, the Lord told him after that, "Come out, Abram, look at the stars". So, we know it's nighttime. It's nighttime, right? We can see the stars, it's nighttime. The stars are actually out there, even during daytime. You can't see it, but how we see them during our night seasons, amen? They shine so bright, hallelujah. Just like the Bible tells us when darkness, there was one plague called darkness and the darkness was so thick, you can feel it. You can't even see your hand in front of you, the Bible says. One of the plagues that came on Egypt, it was so dark. Exodus 10, look up here it says, "They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings".
That means they had light for three days. Those in the conference, our conference was three days, amen. It's a picture of death and resurrection. You enter like in a dead state, you come out in a resurrection-like state, amen? So, there was darkness, thick darkness for three days covering the earth, I mean, covering Egypt, which is our earth. But when darkness is on this earth, even gross darkness upon the people, arise and shine, koumi, amen, arise and shine, shine, amen, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Think about it, darkness cover the earth, but surely Israel had light in their dwellings. They had light in their dwellings.
Now, this is supernatural light. God will make sure that during your night seasons when the world is experiencing darkness, and how dark is the world today? Come on, come on. When people say white is black, black is white, right is bad. Evil is good when they are out of whack with what is even moral, even common sense, amen? There's no more shame faceness, amen, in some issues that is so basic. Let me just tell you this, it's a confused world, a world that's in darkness and gross darkness are upon the people, but the world will see you and you will have light in your dwellings.
So, I know the children of Israel, this light is supernatural light, why? Because, you know, if it's just ordinary light because they lit up the lamb, or their lamp, then the Egyptians can do the same. During this time of darkness, the Egyptians can also light a lamp. In fact, they are more prosperous than the slaves. No, they cannot even light a lamp. So, this light in the dwellings of the people of God is supernatural light. You have light in your family. Are these children of Israel perfect during this time? No, there's bickering, there's complaining. There's no perfection. In fact, we all know because they came out, amen, at the Red Sea.
So, it's not perfect people that God gives this wonderful light to your family. When the world sees, the light is there. There's problems within, but the world doesn't see that. But you see the problem within and because of that, you disqualify yourself. No, there's light in your dwelling. And even demonic forces can see there's light in your dwelling. Can I have a good, amen? Hallelujah, light in your family. And then once you realize that, you can walk in it, praise the Lord. It's not as if you walk and then the light will come, you deserve it, then the light will come. No, the light is there to help you. Can I have a good amen?
Just like the Bible says we are children of the light, we walk in the light, we'll never walk in darkness, amen? The Bible says, "If we walk in the light as he is in the light", and a lot of people twist that into performance. If we walk in the light, that means if you do good, if you don't sin, doesn't say that. Walking in the light is a realm. If we are believers and unbelievers, unbelievers don't walk in the light. Jesus says, "He that follows me shall walk in light, and shall never walk in darkness", amen. Jesus says that.
Now, the thing is that you walking in the light, we'll still sin. We're not perfect people because it says we walk in the light as he's in the light. The blood of Jesus Christ, what? Cleanses us from all sin. That means what? Every time you are in the light, you are in the light now that you believe on Jesus. Every time you sin, the light, the blood cleanses, so you're kept in the light. Every time you fail, the light cleanses, the blood cleanses, amen, and keeps you in the light, amen. Are you listening, child of God?
People say we walk in the light, there's no sin. Then pray tell me why is the blood of Jesus Christ there in the same verse cleansing us from all sin, amen? So, walking in the light are believers. As long as they walk in the light, they have a bad thought, it's cleansed. They have a wrong emotion, it's cleansed, amen. They do something wrong, it's cleansed, then and there it's cleansed. Continue walking in the light, hallelujah. I'm excited. How many are excited with me? Come on, amen. So, don't twist that into performance. It's not a question of how you walk. It's not a question of how you walk, it's a question of where are you walking? Believers walk in the light, unbelievers don't walk in the light.
All right, so the if there is asking, are you a believer or not a believer? I believe John, the episode of John chapter 1 refers to believers and unbelievers. Believers confess they have sin and that's why they need Jesus, amen, amen? They're the first to say, "I need a Savior. I need a full Savior. I'm a bad sinner", amen? Praise the Lord. They're the ones that say, "I have problem", but the sinner says, "I have no sin", amen? Professors and possessors, people who profess and people... so it is very clear demarcation there. Praise the Lord. Let's go on. Are y'all learning this? Is this helping you?
So, in the night seasons, we got to know that God is also, the devil is active, but God is even more, during that time, wanting to turn the whole thing around into your favor. The devil may roar in the night season, and he roars really loud. How many realize that at night you can hear him roar very loud? It seems like all the accusations multiply 100 times at night. Am I the only one? The daytime is okay. I mean, you hear the roar, but it's like a cat's meow, you know, but it still irritates you. But at night when everyone is asleep, wow. Even doctors tell us that when our child is sick, you remember that, their fever? The worst time is always at night. It seems that the morning it's more tolerable. Am I right, parents?
Now, I know there's a physiological explanation, the body is still, there's inflammation, and you need to move around. I understand that, but there's also a meaning behind this that things are worse negatively in the night season, even the devil's accusation becomes loud. So, we need to know what the Bible teaches us about the night seasons, what God is after. Remember, there was a hero of faith, Daniel? Because he stood up for the Lord, he was thrown into the lions' den. Let me just establish this first, those lions are hungry lions. They are not little cubs. All right, they're not little cute cubs running around. How do I know this? Because later on when the enemies of Daniel were thrown by the king into the lions' den, the Bible tells us they didn't even reach bottom. The lions pounced on them while they were on the walls and broke their bones into pieces.
So, these are real mature hungry lions. And because of his obedience to God, he was thrown, Daniel was thrown into the lions's den. So, even men of God like Abraham have night seasons, night fears, night terror, but praise God for the vision. I want to leave you with this vision, amen. So, even Daniel, sometimes you do right, you find yourself in the lions' den. And we know the lion is a picture of the enemy, amen? So, I'm gonna give you some tips, take down notes, how to spend an overnight stay in the lions' den. Okay, number one. Okay, so once you're there, what do you do? This is what the Bible says, let's get right to what God is doing.
In Daniel 6, "Now the king was exceedingly glad", this the next day, "for him", for Daniel because the king loved Daniel. In fact, in a way, he was forced to throw Daniel into the lions den because of his law, but his heart was for Daniel. So, he was very glad that Daniel wasn't hurt, and he commanded, take Daniel out. So, Daniel was taken out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him. You know why? Because he believed in his God. Underline that, "He believed in his God".
So, even when you go into a night season, you don't understand what's happening, believe. There's nothing for you to do but believe. Can I have a good amen? By the way, when Abraham was tossing and turning, and the Lord gave him that vision of the shield in Genesis 15, later on God says, "Come out, look at the stars if you are able to", your English Bible says, "number the stars". In the Hebrew it's sapher, sapher is the same word used, the heavens declares, sapher, the glory of God. Tell the story.
So, in other words, the ancients, they knew, this is not astrology, okay? Listen carefully, it's not astrology. The stars don't rule our lives. We look to the one who made the stars, beyond the stars, amen. He will guide you, he will lead you, amen, he will prophesy your future. Don't look to the stars. But the ancients knew that there's a story of the stars, amen. It began with Virgo, the virgin with the child, ends with the lion. You start from Virgo, you end up with the 12 constellation, you will end up with the lion. And the New Testament starts with the Virgin, and it ends with the lion of the tribe of Judah in the Book of Revelation.
So, God wrote the story, before there was a Bible, God wrote it in the stars. The heavens declared the glory of God and God told Abram, "Abram, come up here", amen. Sometimes they bring you out of your little troubles that you look and you get so obsessed with. God has to give you a larger vision, amen? And that's what happens when you read the Bible, and you hear anointed sermons, amen, you fill yourself with that, even you have to wake up and listen to it. Fill your heart with a greater vision, and God says, "Look at the stars, see if you're able to sapher them, number them", so you can tell the story, recount the story.
So, Abram started recounting the story and came to how, you know, the virgin will have this son, and this son is the dragon slayer, amen? He is the one that will destroy the dragon, hallelujah, amen, and all the way to the lion where he'll come conquering. He's no more a baby. He comes conquering as King of kings and Lord of lords. And Abram's eyes were filled with tears. And God says, "You know that son that you see up there? That's your seed, it will come from you, so shall your seed be". And the Bible says Abram believed God and he was justified. He was the first man that's recorded for us, justified by faith. We know Noah as well, but the first recorded in the clear sense that Paul repeats time after another is Abraham being justified by faith. I don't believe for one moment it's because he counts the stars.
See if he can count the stars, one, two, three, four, 3,001, 3,002, 3,004... then God says, "You are justified, so shall your seed be". Doesn't make sense. It was the gospel story. He was justified when? In the night. He was justified in the night, in the night. It seems like angels are active at night. Do you know that, angels, not only demons, angels are active at night. Now, I'm playing both night season, as well as literal night. It seems like angels are active in the night. How do I know? Well, the Bible tells us so many accounts of angels being active at night.
You say, "Pastor Prince, it's an Old Testament and all that". Listen, friend, New Testament as well, they're active at night. Remember Acts 5, the apostles were caught and put into prison? The Bible says that Acts 5, at night, say, "at night", an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, "Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of life", amen. And this is New Testament. So, God is the same God. His angels are the same, and they are active at night. Abraham's son, or grandson, Jacob, had a dream when he fled his father's house.
Remember the story? He was afraid of his brother, brother's wrath, that he might get killed by the brother so he fled the father's house, Jacob, good old Jacob. Then he slept in a place that later on became Bethel. He lied down there. He had a dream that night. He dreamt what we call Jacob's ladder. This is what he dreamed. "He dreamed, and behold, a ladder". How many know that it's nighttime when God gave him this dream? "He dreamed of a ladder that's setup on the earth, and it's top reached to heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it". Nighttime he saw angels very active coming from heaven, going to heaven, coming from heaven, going to heaven, bringing a message, bringing deliverance, going back to report, amen, amen, of what they have done. Down, up, up, down, down, up.
Let me announce to you, you have something greater that makes angels want to come down and up, down and up. You know why? You have Jesus, and when Jesus first came in the Gospel of John chapter 1, the very first chapter the Bible says, "Then Jesus said to him, to Nathaniel, 'Most assuredly, verily, verily I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man", amen. Because I am here, angels are doing that all the time. And you have him. You have him. That was a fulfillment of what Jacob saw. Jacob's ladder is the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the stairway to heaven. Are y'all with me so far?
Solomon, he received wisdom when he was awake. Think about it, we ask God for wisdom, right? "God, give me wisdom". Even David said just now, "You instruct me in the night seasons". That's the best time of teaching. Some of my best sermons actually came out from nighttime when I can't sleep, thanks to you. What are you doing when you can't sleep. Meditate. If the devil wants to keep you awake, let him pay. That's why it says, "You shall meditate on my Word day"... "His delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate, and he shall be". I will say the next day, "He shall be like a tree planted".
I don't know how many times I've meditated, and then I fall asleep into a deep sleep. I'm telling God as my witness, there are times I cannot sleep, I'll just meditate. Can't sleep, meditate. Take advantage of that moment to meditate on things I've been wanting to meditate. It's time to chew the cud like the sheep, you know, like the cow. After they are well fed, they sit down there, they chew. Whatever I learned, this verse has spoke to me just now, it's nice time for me to masticate it, meditate on it, chew it. It becomes milk, it becomes bones and becomes meat and flesh, strength and health, amen. Meditate on it. How many times I've done that, fall asleep. Next thing you know, it's morning, amen?
Now, don't get up listen to rock music, or rap, or watch TV. Meditate. So, God gave Solomon a dream. In fact, God asked him when? In a dream. The Bible says he was in Gibeon when he offered 1,000 burnt offerings. That was the place where the the bronze altar was, the lever was there, the menorah was there, the altar of incense was there. All the outward furniture of the tabernacle of Moses was there, except for the Ark of the Covenant. His father, David, brought it to Zion, Jerusalem.
So, this is a picture of a man when he didn't know any better, his heart was sincere. He was worshiping like religiously in a place where he thought God was. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings and that night, God appeared to him in a dream, that night. And God says, "Ask what I shall give you". If the Lord appears right now and says, "Ask what I shall give you in your night season". You hear God say, "Ask", blank check, "what I shall give you". What would you say? "Four numbers, Lord, just for numbers, that's all". In Singapore four numbers is like Lottery. You know, you get it all right, you become rich overnight. "Just four, Lord, no more". But why do you want the four numbers? "I want to win the Lottery". Why do you want to win the Lottery? "I want to get the money". Why do you want to get the money? "It'll give me a good life".
Listen, God will bypass all that and give you the good life anyway. How about that? Straight, don't have to collect 200, don't have to bypass anything. Go straight. That's what wisdom will give you. So, Solomon, above everything else, he asked God for wisdom. "Give me a hearing heart". He asked God for wisdom. And God, you know, God loves it.
One prayer that my son has learned to ask God for is wisdom. All right, the other day. Now, they have been having a series in the Sunday school where they're teaching them about prayer. So, I was told by the teacher, "What's his prayer request"? He said, "Number one, to win the rare Pokemon". By the way, a disclaimer, when he plays Pokemon, he's not allowed and he knows he doesn't want to play with those with psychic powers, amen. Just the other simple powers. He want the rare Pokemon. But then, he say, "But I also asked God for wisdom. I also asked God for wisdom". And that's something that is ingrained in him, amen.
Solomon asked God for wisdom in a dream, and he received in a dream. I said, he received in a dream, and it was Solomon who wrote Psalms 127. Most of the Psalms are written by David, but this one was written by Solomon. And Solomon says, "It's vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows". Now, it's okay to rise up early, nothing wrong with that, per se. Nothing wrong with sitting up late. But if you are rising up early because you are worrying, you're eating the bread of sorrows. During the night, you're eating the bread of sorrows so you wake up early. Or you are sitting up late because you're worried.
Bread of sorrows is a picture worry. It's a Hebrewism for worry and anxiety, eating worry, eating anxiety, that's your bread for the night. The Bible say it's vain, it's empty. You won't accomplish anything. Your problem will remain the same. In fact, you'll become worse, right? Your spirit, your attitude is now depressed in a way that, you know, you had the right perspective. Your problem might still be there, but your spirit is, it's changed. Many a times, God change you as a spirit before he change your outside. That's why you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. So, as the soul prospers, he prospers your soul first, and then your outside will follow, your health will follow, amen? But it's vain to sit up late, worrying, rise up early because you're worried, to eat the bread of sorrows, why? "For so God gives His beloved", and this word here is Yedidyah.
All right, you put a name Yah, Yedidyah, Yedidyah is beloved and he's putting his name here. Do you know another name of Solomon is actually Jedidiah. Jedidiah is Yedidyah, Yedidyah, God's beloved, Yahweh's beloved. What a beautiful expression, isn't it? His father is David, from the same expression, same etymology, David is beloved. It takes a David to knock down a Goliath. It takes someone who knows he's beloved to knock down the enemy, amen, to win in the fight of war, amen? Having a different spirit from all Israel, they were intimidated. It takes someone who knows he's beloved. Now, his son, his other name is Jedidiah, amen. In fact, the Lord called him Jedidiah, which means beloved of the Lord.
So here, the name is there, he gives his beloved sleep. Now, I was very fascinated by this because some years ago, I meditated on this and I tried to get it. So, I studied on this verse a lot because I just want to, for my own sake, I have trouble sleeping as well during that time, and I just want to study this. But when I studied this, I went to Delitzsch, who's a Hebrew scholar, and all those different Hebrew helps and all that. And I found out that the Jewish people, they themself were arguing among themselves. It seems that the last line here is ambiguous. In other words, it can be interpreted two ways. One is that God gives the beloved, his beloved, sleep, and a lot of rabbis argue that this is the interpretation. But then another group of rabbis says, "No, it is saying that while you are sleeping, God is giving, even to his beloved".
So hence, you have this New King James version and the King James Version. Then you have the NASB, New American Standard Bible that gives this, look at the last line. "For he gives to his beloved, even in his sleep". So, because it's ambiguous, and maybe it's meant to be ambiguous because the answer is both. God gives his beloved sleep, but then while he's sleeping, God gives to him while he's sleeping. In fact, God can move when man is not. You got that? Maybe God can move even more, the Bible says in Job, in the night season, in the deep sleep, in the slumbers upon man, God awakens his ear. God speaks once, twice, why? To hide pride from man. Man is so proud that the only time God can speak to him is when he's sleeping, amen. So, God speaks to man while he's sleeping, but also he gives us sleep.
So, if you're having trouble with sleep and all that, number one, you need to realize that there is the provision where God gives sleep. Can I have a good amen? Ask God for it. But you need to understand that God gives his beloved sleep. You must have a sense that you are loved, establish that first. Don't struggle with sleep. Establish the fact, "I'm God's beloved". "But Pastor, what if that sense is not strong"? Then listen to my sermon about the secret of John until it's so established in your heart. Then at night when you sleep, you find yourself being cradled in his bosom, amen, amen? Also in John chapter 1 it says Jesus said these words, the Spirit God says the Son of Man who is in the bosom of the Father, present tense. But his feet was on earth, but the Son of Man who is in the bosom of the Father.
The Gospel of John is a story of bosom, of love. John rested on Jesus's bosom. Jesus rested on the Father's bosom, even when he was on earth. He rested on God's love for him, amen? When he was tempted, or tested by the devil in the wilderness, what do he say? "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God", right? That's the first temptation, right? And that was the first response. But what did the Father just tell him? The Father just said to him, "You are my beloved Son. In you, I am well pleased". And Jesus says, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word. You are my beloved Son. In you, I am well pleased".
I really think, it's my own personal opinion, that the first temptation the devil gave him the picture or a vision of two stones, and it says, you know, "Command that these stones become bread". Now, we think the stones, right? This is my take, I believe, had a revelation of this years ago. The devil presented the two stones, a picture of the two stones and says, "Command these stones to become bread. Find your nourishment from the law". And Jesus says, "No, I find my nourishment in every word that just came from my Father's mouth, every word of God. Man does not live but by that word". Oh, come on, hallelujah. You are God's beloved. You are God's Yedidyah, amen? Come on. Today is the return of the Jedi, Jedi, Jedidiah, Yedidyah. It's a nice name.
I shared this years ago with a friend, and he had a Chinese name and all of a sudden, his name became Jedidiah. See, God gives while you're sleeping. So, you know, at night when you look at your bed and all that, sleep will be different from now on. Say, "God, I wonder what you're gonna give to me while I'm sleeping". Number one, "Lord, give me the sleep I need and while I'm sleeping, restore my health, renew my youth", amen. And then say this, "Lord, work on all the problems, Lord, that I have while I'm sleeping". And a part of you will say, "Nah, unless you work, you lazy fellow, nothing will happen". But great things happen when we are sleeping.
The very first example we have is that, whoa, Wendy came forth for Joseph Prince when he was sleeping. When Adam was sleeping, the greatest and the crowning achievement and creation of God happened. All the creation of God cannot compare when he made man. When he made everything else the first day, second day, he says it was good, it was good. It was good. God saw it was good. It was good. When he created man, God saw it was very good. It was very good. But not only that, after man, he created a woman and that was the last sleep Adam ever had. I'm just teasing. We don't understand women because we were sleeping when God made you. But what a beautiful creation. Even the exclamation that Adam had, says, "Whoa man, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh", amen, isha in Hebrew. Hei came. With man's name, there's no hei, ish. But ish, you put a hei at the end, hei is a picture of grace. In the Hebrew letter, isha, woman, came to bring grace to man. Amen, isha.
So, I advise you, if you have a problem in your marriage, you don't know how to transform that woman, you're never meant to. Want good advice? Go to sleep, and before you go to sleep, you tell the Lord, "Lord, you did it once, you can do it again", amen? So, that when I wake up, I look at her, she'll be like, "Whoa man", amen? Either she changes, or the way you see her change. Maybe the problem is with you. I said, maybe the problem is with you. God will change something, amen. So, great things happen. I mean, God gives great things, wonderful things, good things while, to his beloved, while he's sleeping. So instead of worrying about your night season, and that's a picture of the night season as well, good things are coming your way in the night season. But we are so conscious, we see things.
"Are you sure it's the night, it's a good thing in this night season? Pastor Prince, I think it's a curse, not a blessing. This depression is a curse". But behind this depression, let me tell this, for many, many years, I could not sleep as a teenager, I could not. At night, I would feel things crawling on my body. Literally, I'm telling the truth. You know, I feel things pressing on my on my chest. I was involved in the occult, and it's things like the powers of darkness will refuse to let me go. And, you know, I would hear voices at night. I could not sleep. I hear voices that says, "You have committed the unpardonable sin". This was before God opened up the gospel of grace to me. I was already a believer, but I could sense all this and hear all these things in the night season. So, I know what I'm talking about. All right, behind all this depression and all that, these things are real. It's not from God. But behind that is this ministry. Had I not gone through all that, I wouldn't have this honey from a hard place, a rock, to give all of you.
So, in your night season, maybe you're going through something because out of that will come riches for others, amen, and for yourself as well. And that's why you're going through what you're going through. In a way, it's a compliment. I suffered all that and look at my friends, none of them seemed to suffer that. Some of them were also involved in the occult, but when I got saved, I left the occult but it seems like the powers of darkness still, you know? And I'm telling you, church, by the way, don't mess around with the occult, amen? Don't go into horoscope and things like that. If you don't want a scope of horror in your life, leave horoscope, all right? That's why it tells you already, "You want horoscope? Come". They tell you.
So, God gives to his beloved in his sleep. God justified Abraham, the teaching of justification by faith. All of us are justified by faith. That first happened to Abraham in his sleep, or in the night season, rather, amen? Genesis 15. Are you with me so far? God gives victory songs and victory in the night. So, if you're going through a night season, look out for the victory. I said, look out for the victory. You know that there was a time Israel was surrounded by the Assyrian army, and the king was King Senncharib. He just conquered Lachish, and King Hezekiah was behind the walls, and he knew he was outnumbered.
Assyrian army was brutal, they were wicked. If ever you go to London, go visit the British Museum. I love to go in a particular area, the Bible area. Ask the reception where the biblical areas are and the Assyrian, especially the relief of Lachish because what happened was that many years ago, they uncovered the palace of Senncharib, the king of Assyria. And wall to wall, ceiling to floor, there is this relief all around, and they took it and brought it to the British Museum, amen. It shows Lachish being conquered by King Senncharib. Literally, you can see the faces of the Jewish people during Hezekiah's time. But these people are not under Hezekiah, all right, they were far away. They are, in fact, at that time rebellious against God. King Hezekiah, but you can see the Jewish people, how their hairstyle was like, their beard. And in the British...
I'm gonna show you a picture real quick just to excite you. Can you see this? This is the British Museum. You go real close, you'll find them being tortured. Can you see the Assyrian army on the left, the pointed had tearing their, skinning their feet until the bones are exposed, skinning them. When the bones are exposed, they break the bones, and those that are doing that to are Jewish people. This is the relief of Lachish, and show them another picture. These are the hairstyle and the beard of the Jewish people as they march in captivity. Behind them are the Assyrian army. This is found in Senncharib's palace. Look up here, but you know something? In his palace, there's no Jerusalem being conquered. You know why? Because the Bible says that this happen, listen, before I show it to you, is found in your Bible. Read your Bible, okay? I got no time to tell you, okay?
Now, this is in 2 Kings somewhere where it tells you that King Senncharib, after conquering Lachish, he came to Jerusalem and he said Lachish fell. All the nations around have fallen, can their gods deliver them? Can your God deliver you? And the Bible says that King Hezekiah took the trap, the letter that he sent, the email that he sent, and they spread it before the Lord. And he says, "Lord, we have no might. Look at this, Lord, behold his threatening. But Lord". And he says this, "Lord who dwell between the wings of the cherubim, spare your people, show yourself strong". And the Bible says this happened that night. "It came to pass on a certain night, the angel the Lord went out and killed in the camp of Assyrians, hundred and eighty-five thousand". That was nighttime. On a certain night, the victory came, amen. When the people arose early in the morning, all dead.
You sleep, the threatening is strong, loud and clear. The roaring of the lion is loud. You wake up, silence, all your enemies, dead, one night. That's why, that's why when you go to the British Museum, wall to wall in his palace is all about Lachish. And that's all because he was so, the Bible says, with shamefacedness, or he was so shameful when he left, his men all died. He came back with a few men. He was so shameful that he built his wall based on one victory, Lachish, but there's no Jerusalem. You know what happened when he went back? Because of the shame that he brought, his own sons assassinated him. By the way, the British Museum you can see the face of Senncharib sitting on the... you can't see the face. His face has been defaced by somebody I don't know who is it, right? But you see a man sitting on the throne, that's Senncharib.
You see, you don't say that the Bible has been proven true. No, the Bible is always true. Archaeologists are catching up, amen. And I think of archaeologists, amen, they look for old things and, you know, clear the dust but it's not because of archaeology, I believe the Bible, amen. By the way, ladies, if you're gonna marry someone who appreciate you more and more as you grow older, marry an archaeologist. The older things are, the more they appreciate, you know? And not only that, God can also give a sleepless night. Sometimes God give a sleepless night.
I had times where I prepared a sermon, for example, amen. I need to sleep, but if God does this, he's always very kind, amen. He'll make sure that I have supernatural rest. There are times I prepare my sermon, I prepare really well and all that, but in the morning, or in the middle of night, God wakes me up, which is the morning already, right, like in between is morning, isn't it, 3 a.m., 4 a.m., it's still morning, isn't it? So, he wakes me up and I'm fresh. I'm like, "Whoa, what happened, Lord"? And I realized that it's not that kind of depressive kind of waking. I realize I feel fresh, and I know it's the Lord. What is it, Lord? "Change your sermon".
Now, I have learned never to tell him or to tell him things like, "Why didn't you tell me yesterday"? Never, you know? He's the boss. He must have had a reason. Maybe he wants me to be on my toes in my faith, amen? But he always has a reason. And when I changed that sermon, wow, it is amazing. By the way, the little rest I had that morning, he will always compensate. The strength will be there, the five loaves and two fish hours of sleep is multiplied. I said, it's multiplied. So, in your night season, he comes to visit you. He comes to visit you. And this tells us also, personally, a personal visitation, not only angels are active so that you don't have to be afraid for the terror by night. You don't have to be afraid for the terror by night, amen.
Notice the terror comes by night. The arrow flies by day, the fiery darts, but the terror, usually it's at night. You know, you don't have to be afraid, for he gives his angels charge over you. Not only that, he himself comes to you. I told you just now, there are visitations. There are moments like the lover comes to the bride, amen? And you need to flow with him when you know he's coming to you. He never leaves you, nor forsake you but the sense of his presence, you can feel a sense of his, like his absence. When you're in a relationship you can tell. He never leaves you, understand that, but there are times if you say, no, no, no, I want to watch this program. No, no, no, I'm busy. No, no, no, there comes a time that you go to the Word and you open up, and it's not talking to you. You missed that moment, doesn't mean he left you. He's not punishing you. This is called the dynamics of love, amen, right?
If you're wooing someone and they don't pay attention, pullback, amen. Don't keep on, that's Chinese for like, you know, don't keep on, you know, pushing yourself. Guys, girls, the same thing. The guy is chasing you, you are attracted because you are chase-able. Don't turn around and start chasing him, amen? Even the Lord, the Lord says, the Bible says in Song of Songs he says, "My love, my undefiled". You know, he wants fellowship, she doesn't want. Then later on, she lie down there she say, "Okay, I think I'm ready now for fellowship", okay? She opens the door, he's not there. The Lord knows how to stir our passion, he know how to stir us back for him. Or sometimes he will show people that are in love with him, people that have experienced fresh relationship, and we start feeling envious. It's still the Lord pulling you, drawing you. Can I have a good amen?
The Bible says Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fish, and I can show you exactly where it happened. Today after I, you know, the Lord gave it to me actually many years ago and today, even the guides, the Jewish guides in Israel are saying that's the location. It's at Mount Arbel, the area of Mount Arbel. And I can tell you why, even how the Lord said to me that there was a place, not just the Lord spoke to me, but I can prove to you from the Bible that there's a place location. After Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish, they collected the 12 basketful, he went up the mountain. It was a mountain, and the only mountain in that area is Mount Arbel. And he sent his disciples down to Bethsaida. He went into a boat while he sent the multitudes away.
How he did it, I don't know, but he sent the multitudes away. And he went up to the mountain to pray, his disciples were already in the Lake of Galilee on their way to the destination, Bethsaida. And the Bible says nighttime came, and he looked for Mount Arbel. How many been in Mount Arbel? It's beautiful, isn't it? He looked down at Mount Arbel, and he saw the disciples, they were rowing, and rowing, and rowing, for the wind was contrary to them. And the more it's like three, you say three feet forward, two feet backwards, two steps backwards, right? You know what I'm saying? It's like every time you go forward, you go back even more. You go forward, you go back.
The wind was contrary to them. And sometimes you feel like your life is like that. You know, you do your best, but it seems like there are forces, every wind of doctrine. And even demons are wind-like spirit, you know, and the word there is wind. They come against you, and you feel like there's a resistance there. You can't explain it, but there's a resistance. You can't reach your destination. Jesus is watching. Jesus is watching. From Mount Arbel, he saw them in the middle of the sea, the Bible says. He saw them, and he saw them rowing, toiling, for the wind was contrary to them. And Jesus came down to where they were, and he walked on the water. He came down the mountain and then it's the lake, right? He started walking on the water, right to the deepest part. They were in the middle of the sea, that's where they were. He came to them, and when did he come to them? The Holy Spirit mentions this detail. When did he come to them?
Look at this, "Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them walking on the sea". In the fourth watch, now the fourth watch, look up here. The Jewish timings are based on watches, they call it, okay? There are four watches in the night, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the first watch facing you, okay, got it? Okay, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the first watch, 9 p.m. to midnight, second watch, midnight to 3 a.m. third watch, 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., it's darkest before dawn. In the darkest time of your life, Jesus will come to you. He'll come to you in a way that you never expected. They never saw him walk on the water before.
In fact, one gospel says they were afraid. In fact, down here also they say, "And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled saying, 'It is a ghost,' and they cried out for fear". These are seasoned fishermen, amen? They never saw that before. They saw a figure in the dark in the night season. And understand this, in the night season, even when the Lord reaches out to you, victory is reaching out to you. Deliverance is reaching out to you. Your first reaction might be you're afraid because it's not the same kind of form that you're used to. But it is victory. It is Jesus. The very thing they were afraid of, he was walking on. They were afraid of being under, they saw him over. And Jesus immediately, when he heard their fear, immediately, he said, "Be of good cheer". In Hebrew, Ani Hu, "I Am". Your English Bible says, "It is I". Actually Ani Hu means, I Am.
Does that sound familiar? "I Am", the Lord over the waves that's the psalmist talk about. The Lord above your troubles, the Lord on high is high above all, amen? Ani Hu, I Am. The Bible says, he says, "Do not be afraid". Ani Hu, altera. He's always saying altera, fear not, in our darkest seasons. Don't be afraid. Do you notice the refrain? Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. He comes to you, amen. There are seasons where the Lord personally comes to you. Angels come to you, amen, and it's your night season. And even right now, some of you have received a bad diagnosis from the doctor, and the doctor say some things about your body, just found out about it.
And right now, you know, you're struggling with this diagnosis, and you're afraid of the future. All right, don't be afraid, he's coming to you, even at this time, more than any other time, amen. He's coming to you, amen? One of the things, if you're going through the night season, okay listen, there are two things instituted by God in the night season for Israel and for the church. Number one, in the night season, God instituted a night to be remembered by the turn of Israel. It was the Passover. And that night, they ate the roasted lamb. The blood was on the doorpost, they ate the roasted lamb. The Bible says that Jesus himself, in the night that he was betrayed, he took bread, amen? And he says, "Take, eat, this is my body". On the same night that he was betrayed, he was going through his own night season, amen.
When you're going through your night season, one the best things you can do as well, all right, is to partake of the Lord's Supper. Even if you're doing it two three times a day, doesn't matter, it's a night season for you. Partake, as you partake, think of the Lord loving you. Don't think of you bringing the elements to the Lord. Think of you receiving the elements from the Lord, and these are gifts of love that'll make you right, amen? Are you blessed?
Okay, stand to your feet. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. If you have never received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, listen carefully, no one walking around just at this time. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, listen, if you were to die tonight, you're not sure heaven is your home, your sins are forgiven. I want to give you this opportunity right now. Jesus saves. I said, Jesus saves. Christ died on the cross for your sins. More than anything else than all these temporal blessings this side of heaven, he wants you to live with Him forever, amen? He wants you to have eternal life.
It was a nice season that a man called Nicodemus, he was a religious man. So, you might say, "Pastor, I'm a religious man", that's good. That's fine. You say that, "I come from a Christian background". That's good, that's fine, but are you born again? Have you personally received the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, I want to give you this opportunity. Say, "Heavenly Father", say this from your heart, "Heavenly Father". Anyone that needs Jesus, call upon him.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for my sins, who was raised from the dead when I was justified in him. Jesus Christ is my Lord, now and forever. Thank you, Father, I'm deeply loved. I'm so blessed because I am loved by you. In Jesus's name, amen.
Lift your hands all across this place. Hallelujah, this coming week, the Lord bless you and your families with the blessings of father Abraham. The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you, preserve you, protect you from all harm and danger, from every sickness, from the denque mosquito even. In the name of Jesus, the Lord preserve you in health and wholeness. The Lord make his face shine on you and grant you great favor with the people that you meet everywhere you go this week, amen. The Lord increased that favor, and the Lord lift up his countenance on you and grant to you and your loved ones, your families, his shalom, well-being, and wholeness, and peace. In Jesus's name, and all the people said, amen. God bless you.