Dwelling in the Light
From our earliest use of the Bible we have heard the words ‘darkness’ and ‘light’ being spoken of. In the same way that we cannot remember our own first steps, we cannot remember the first time we heard the words, “works of darkness” or, “let your light shine.” They are as remote as when we first learned to walk. But somehow we came to know—almost instinctively—that “works of darkness” were evil things, and “letting our light shine” was a good thing.
What does the Bible have to say about these different thoughts? How are light and darkness used throughout the Scriptures? The light of God is a concept that has much deeper connotations than most people recognize. God began developing the concepts of light and darkness in the first few verses of Genesis:
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:2-4)
Do not assume, as many do, that this is speaking only of the sun and its illumination on the earth. The analogy would indicate the contrast between the greater things of God, and the empty void of Godlessness. The physical manifestations are certainly included in the Scriptural account, but there is also a tremendous symbolism that points to an unseen greater reality.
These light and darkness concepts are symbolic of God’s much greater realm of existence. God’s uses the light and darkness symbolism for the purpose of making known His much deeper plan—His spiritual kingdom that we need to comprehend more fully.
We know that Moses could not look directly on the brilliant glory of Jesus Christ’s brightness and live (Exodus 33:18-23). And John describes Jesus as being as bright as the sun itself in the Book of Revelation:
“In the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shines in its strength.” (Revelation 1:13-16)
The prophet Isaiah helped develop the idea that light is associated with goodness, while darkness is synonymous with wickedness. As the analogy develops in Scripture, we begin to see how ‘light’ represents the good characteristics of God - while ‘darkness’ is the absence of Godliness. Light begins to be used to symbolize God, and His wisdom, faith and holiness, among many other of His attributes.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
Without getting too far ahead of the story, we need to understand God’s self-revelation—and that is the fact that God is spiritual radiant light.
“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
Isaiah was also inspired by God’s Holy Spirit to write this messianic prophecy about Jesus Christ coming as the “Great Light.”
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)
That Messianic Prophecy about Jesus Christ coming as the “Great Light” was well known – and so Matthew picks up on it right away in the New Testament.
“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
The important lesson for us to gather from this message is that we are invited as the Children of God, not only to exist in the same bright light that is God—but to actually become that Godly light as eternal spirit beings in the Kingdom of God.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)
Paul explained that Jesus Christ resided in the light which was all too intense and dazzling for mere mortal man to endure – but as spirit-born beings – this light will be our home. This is the habitation of Jesus right now!
“[Jesus Christ] only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting.” (1 Timothy 6:16)
Brethren, the case is made: We must come out of darkness entirely and walk in the light. Unless our righteousness is the righteousness of Christ, and if our life’s motivation is not singularly on God’s perfect way, we are doomed:
“If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)
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