I don't know that you'd see a darker time than Genesis 4. It started with Cain killing his brother, and then violence was added to violence as his descendants grew in violence and rebellion against God. There was no governmental restraint. It was worse than the Wild West.
Had the human experiment failed? Was it time for God to mop it all up and start over again? Well at that very dark time, God still accomplished His purposes, we see His special grace appear in the salvation of His people – Seth and his children worshiped God.
Genesis 4:25–26 - “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
It was the same feeling during the prophecies of Isaiah 9. There was such spiritual darkness in the land, it seemed like the whole nation of Israel had turned away from God, there was so much spiritual darkness. But in Isaiah 9, God promised that a light would come into that darkness. He promised that a child would be born.
Isaiah 9:2, 6 - “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. . . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
It's the same thing at the time of Jesus. The Jewish people felt oppression at the hands of the Roman occupiers. There was spiritual lethargy among the people, and there was legalism that came from the spiritual leaders of their day. Even the spiritual leaders of the day were not leading the people towards God, but were setting up barrier after barrier between them and God. There was such great darkness and God seemed so distant from the people of Israel. Would they have any hope?
That's the world that Jesus came in. Look at Matthew 4. It reminds us that it was a time of darkness, but God sent light into the darkness.
Matthew 4:12–17 - “Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.””
You might feel like you're surrounded in darkness. The evil of the world may seem so oppressive to you today. Maybe you've experienced traumas in the past which leave you in that darkness.
Remember … there is a promise of light even in darkness. We remember that God is writing the story here. Remember that it's the times of greatest darkness that light shines the brightest. The question for you today is whether you are looking to the light. Are you wondering where the light is in the darkness? Look at Jesus Christ and find that light.