Exodus 10:21 | Darkness is the Choice

With the season of Halloween upon us I was thinking about how scary the darkness can be. Movies love to capture the imagination of what might be found down a long unstable staircase in the darkness. Nothing but spiders but hey the imagination of something unknown can send a chill down my spine. Some children want a light left on when they drift to sleep. Many of my neighbors leave lights on around their house because they fear the thief could use the darkness to lurk about. I once took a tour of a large underground cave and as part of the tour the guide had everyone stand still and then they turned the lights out. The natural state of this cave where we were at under the ground was without light. There was nothing. I could not see even the faint outlines of the person next to me. In fact I reached up to touch the person in front of me just to make sure they were still there. There was no light peaking around a corner. It was just dark like I had never experienced before.

Moses appeared before the King of Egypt right before the 9th of what would be 10 plagues on Egypt. Moses was given instructions to ask the King to let the Hebrew people go and worship the Lord. However, God knew that the King would not let them go so God prepared Moses with instructions on what this 9th plague would entail.  

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” Exodus 10:21 ESV

Darkness that can be felt. I shudder at the idea. Light a match and darkness. Start a fire and darkness. Look to the sun and darkness. God said that this would be a darkness that could be felt. This word “felt” in the Hebrew could be translated “to grope”. Darkness that will grope. The darkness would grope its way into your being. It would have been a paralyzing blanket cast over the nation. Worse yet it is a darkness that lasts for 3 days. Imagine the despair of the Egyptian people and specifically the Egyptian King in that one of the major gods of Egypt is Ra the sun God. Insult on injury here is that Ra as creator is supposedly the father of the Egyptian King. The King’s own fatherly god Ra has been shown to be worthless before the Lord God who created the sun and everyone in Egypt plainly sees this as the case.

Paul in his opening letter to the church in Rome describes the situation.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. … 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, … 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:18-19; 22; 25 ESV

Egypt serves the creation and they worship the creation. There have been eight previous acts of God’s power and wonder over the creation to convince them that he is God and he is worthy of their attention. Yet they “suppress the truth” so they can continue to live their unrighteous lives as if God does not exist and as if they will not be accountable to their maker. Contemporary man does the same. We worship science which is our ability to manipulate the creation. Yet we still know almost nothing about the creation some will even deny there is a creation or a reality because they understand that where there is a creation there is a Creator. We worship exercise and healthy lifestyles yet we still grow old and die. We worship cults of personality in culture and yet mental health issues and dissatisfaction with life continue to increase. Why? Because we live ungodly lives in darkness contrary to what God created us for.

The Egyptians had an advantage over the modern man in that the three days of total darkness they experienced was plainly physical. They had a chance to reflect and think about the plight they found themselves in. We in the modern world are paralyzed in the darkness of our hearts yet we avoid acknowledging our current state by the distractions of entertainment and busyness that rule our lives.

A theme of darkness and light runs throughout the Bible. As I wrote here that God is light and he calls Christians to be a source of light in a dark world. It is no surprise then to hear Paul tell us the message he received from Jesus on God’s plan for this world.

I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:18 ESV

Now is the moment to turn from darkness to light, from sin to forgiveness. Jesus is calling us to worship a worthy creator. If we submit to Christ then we will be in the light. If we worship the creation which includes our own selfishness then we remove ourselves from God the source of light and will live in eternal darkness. Draw near to Christ and he will hear your cry.

Genesis 1:14 | No more Darkness

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Light and Darkness are a theme in life and storytelling. Darkness hides and Light reveals. Darkness is a cloud over our mind that leads to depression. Darkness halts activity. Darkness is where the fears of men hold back progress. The dark ages vs enlightenment. Light is life. Even the faintest smallest amount of light will penetrate darkness. On day one of creation God created light to separate the darkness and then God called light “good”. It is obvious even now that light is a source of goodness.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3 ESV

Interestingly when God created the light he did so before creating the sun or any other source for light. The source of light the device from which the light is produced was not created until day four. If I were to diagram an evolutionary step by step requirement for a creation God’s creation of light before a light source would seem to be an odd approach. The word “lights” used to describe the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is the same word and context as when describing light from a lamp. On day one when God said “Let there be light” that word is used in the same context as when talking about light as one might describe the “light of the morning” the description of the light is of the light itself not the sun the source of that light.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19 ESV

So then we have light created on day one and we have an ongoing source for light created on day four. This blows up any desire to reconcile an evolutionary progression of creation with a God spoken creation. Is this a contradiction in the Bible or does this revelation tell us some greater truth about God himself?

God did not say let light shine out of the Sun. Paul reveals more detail about God’s creation of light that existed before the sun was created. God himself was the source of light in darkness.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

Just as God created the heavens and the earth from nothing so he creates light from nothing. Light shines out of darkness by God’s command on the first day of creation. He is the source of that light, by his word and his creative power. The same God that brings forth light sourced from his own desire is the same God that brings forth an even greater light in the darkened hearts of men.

God does not need a lamp or a sun or a moon to bring forth light. In fact, on the fourth day when God created a source for light he created it for our benefit as “signs and for seasons, and for days and years” while we live in this time limited creation.

In any story or event in life surrounding the war of darkness and light Jesus, who is God in flesh, overcomes the darkness. Darkness that leads to death, fear, or depression is broken before Jesus the author of light. Jesus revealed his heavenly state to the disciples at the moment of his triumph.

2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:2 ESV

And the future state of creation will have light without any need of a sun or moon. God himself will be the source and lamp of light that will shine on all who are with him in Heaven.

5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5

God did not need the Sun to bring light into this world. God himself is a source of light both physically and spiritually. We have an opportunity to be in the light to be part of the light or we may remain in darkness for all eternity. Light is found in Christ and he is near to those who would call on his name.

Daily Devotion: Is God the Creator of Life?

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Is God the Creator of life? Some would say “no” and may believe that life is simply a random accident. This line of thought would argue that people are born, live, and then are no more. The Gospel of John records a truth about Jesus: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5 (NIV) God has left a rich and detailed revelation of His eternal creative power for all to comprehend both in nature and in the record of the Bible. The truth of God shines like a light calling people to know that they are loved and have purpose in relationship with Jesus.

Genesis 1:3 | Jesus Christ is the Light of Life

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Genesis is God the creator speaking into existence his will and his plans. He is unimaginably powerful. There is no human construct or thoughts that can contain His infinite scope. God speaks and there is light. Light not like the sun or light that is generated by normal means but simply light that is in place and makes up our reality. In Genesis 1 God creates this light separate from the light of the sun and he places it opposite of the darkness.  

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Genesis 1:3-5 ESV

The next time this kind of light is spoken of is when God displays his power to Pharaoh. 

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. Exodus 10:21-23 ESV

The darkness that stretched over Egypt was so dark they could not see one another for three days. It was a darkness so thick it could be felt. I am a bit uncomfortable in dark places and this for me conjures up being stuck in a cave underground or a submarine at the bottom of the ocean with the very real threat of losing light and not being able to move. My chest constricts just at the thought. I cannot imagine the depths of hopelessness the Egyptians experienced to lose the light of the world. How much more so to think it is possible to not be in a place where God’s light is not available to your soul. I imagine this is just the beginning of what Hell must be like.  

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Psalm 36:9 ESV

David writing a song to God tells us that life is found in God’s light and by His light we can see light. It is a redundancy in speech or a truth to grasp about God as experienced firsthand by the Egyptians? Life exists because of the light God spoke into the universe he created. The source and author of the light in Genesis is the source, sustainer, and salvation of any life we would expect to live on this earth. God speaking through Isaiah lays out his plans for the entire world of men and women. He will use the nation of Israel to be a light for all the nations.  

“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, Isaiah 42:6 ESV

How then will God use the Jews as a light for all the nations? God calls from them the savior Jesus and in him God fulfills that promise to be a light for all the nations.  

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

God creator of the world seeks to draw men and women to himself. Men and Women who will be his children and be given life in the light of God himself. There is a problem however and each of us must look into our heart and ask a very serious question. Do we want this light? Or do we prefer to continue in death of darkness? 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 ESV

 

19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21 ESV

Be exposed. Give up the death of the darkness and sin and selfishness that you live in today. Turn to Jesus who created you to begin with and find purpose, hope, and life in His light.