Wednesday, February 21, 2007

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Ephesians 5:8

Darkness and light are used as symbols throughout the Bible. Darkness symbolizes lifelessness or death, evil, sin, ignorance, and sorrow. Light is its opposite. Light is life, righteousness, holiness, knowledge of God and joy. Light is what results when God takes action against darkness. Darkness is the absence of God and light is the work of God. The apostle John explains this to us in 1 John 1:5, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

We discover this principle at the very beginning of the Bible. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3). The earth lay in darkness and when God began his creation of life on earth he brought light. Adam and Eve were created in this light and they shared the life of God until they sinned. With their sin mankind was plunged into darkness and the life and light of God which was inside them was extinguished.

God intended to redeem his fallen creation and bring his people back into the light. He chose Abraham to be the father of his people. God worked through the children of Abraham for centuries, preparing to reintroduce the Light into the world. God revealed his purpose to Isaiah and we see another excellent illustration of the darkness and the light. God’s people, Judah, had fallen deep into the darkness of sin. God’s judgment was drawing near. There was fear and confusion. The people of God were not turning to God but to mediums and spiritists. Isaiah says, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness” (Isaiah 8:20-22). In short, if the people do not return to God they will remain in darkness and gloom and they will experience God’s wrath, utter darkness. But immediately following this passage comes a prophecy of the Promised One, the Messiah, the child to be born who will be the Prince of Peace. Notice the words of God given to Isaiah in 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Again, the people were living in darkness apart from God but when God acts he brings light.

After the close of the Old Testament there is a long period of silence. Four hundred years passed in darkness as the people of God heard no word from him. They were conquered and ruled by the Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, and Romans. They walked in the gloom and darkness until one night the light of God broke through. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:8-11). The light of God came to bear on the darkness; the child was born, the Son was given.

God sent his Son, Jesus, into the darkness of our world. Remember what the apostle John said about him in John 1:4, 5, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Jesus’ own testimony about himself is found in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” There it is! The world and the people in the world are darkness. They are ignorant of the light of God. They do not have the light of God and therefore they do not have the life of God! They are darkness and darkness is death! It’s not just that they are lost in the darkness; they love the darkness. “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of life because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). We who follow Jesus have been given his light and are supposed to let it light up the world! “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

2 Comments:

At 6:50 AM, Blogger jazzycat said...

Good lesson. God took action and God continues to take action is the story of redemption. Praise God.

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

That was EXCELLENT! Way to define darkness and light. Thank you.

 

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