"It would seem as if God almost invariably selected the night-season of their experience for the marvelous manifestations of Himself to His people. Night-visions of God were familiar to Jacob. How vividly would he remember the memorable night when, a fugitive from the vengeance of Esau, and an exile from his home, there appeared to him in his sleep the vision of the ladder, God speaking to him from above it in words of comfort and promise! Would he not, even in that early part of his eventful life, behold in this ladder an impressive symbol of the incarnate Son of God, the Mediator between heaven and earth, on the mystic rounds of which his faith would ascend to God reconciled in Christ?
Yet more vivid and hallowed would be the remembrance of the long night at Peniel, when the Divine Angel, with whom he wrestled and whom he overcame, knighted him as a prince of God, mighty and prevalent in prayer. A third time God appears to His servant in the night, by an extraordinary and gracious vision, at a most important crisis of his history, as if the Lord would close the patriarch's earthly pilgrimage, as He had commenced it, with those glorious and consolatory manifestations of Himself, so timely and so precious to the heart in seasons of sorrow and despondency.
There is much to us that is precious and soothing in this thought. When our mental and spiritual exercises are with us as though it were night; when our path is shaded; when soul-depression and heart-crushing sorrow, loneliness and dreariness, drape the landscape of life; in this night season when most need a word of comfort and a ray of light, the most need some assurance of His faithfulness and love- lo! the gracious vision transpires, and a blessed manifestation takes place, and God in Christ draws near, reveals Himself, or speaks a promise, and so gives a song in the night.
Such was the season in which the Psalmist strengthened himself in the Lord his God. How affecting his language, "I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night."Yes, the sweetest songs that ever flowed from pilgrims' lips are those of the night. The Lord Jesus knows your night sorrow, loneliness, and widowhood; and He will come at that season and graciously manifest Himself to your soul, and you shall know what it is to meditate on your bed in the night-watches, and your meditation of Him shall be sweet."