Exodus 7:4 | The Light’s Great Act

There is a misconception in the culture that the God of the Old Testament is a vengeful and angry God but the God of the New Testament is loving and wants everyone to do whatever they want to be happy.  The result of these two narratives is that those who hate God and his church will talk about how unjust the angry God of the Old Testament is so that they can justify curtailing God and the church in the public square. And those who proclaim a judge-less God of the New Testament a God that desires everyone to be happy use this view to justify their own “truth” of selfish desires and hedonism. Any challenge to this judge-less God is immediately thrown out with the lecture we are not to judge others.

Both narratives are wrong about God. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same God. If God changed then he would not be God.

First let us look at the judgmental God of the Old Testament. Moses traveled to Egypt to free the Israelite slaves from the oppressive Egyptians. God tells Moses that He will free the Israelite people through signs and wonders and he also tells Moses that the signs and wonders will be a judgment on Egypt.

3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. Exodus 7:3-4  ESV

Here is the God of the Old Testament condemning the Egyptians to a painful judgment that ultimately ends in the first born throughout Egypt being killed by an angel of God. This final plague and judgment was so overwhelming that the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave.

Was this a vengeful and angry God who had no right and therefore we can condemned his action or was this a righteous judge who is justified to judge Egypt in this manner? Before answering this question remember that the Egyptians are holding the Israelites as oppressed slaves. These are the same Egyptians that set about to murder every boy born to the Israelites.  These same Egyptians that rejected God to serve after false gods. As creator of humanity and sustainer of the universe God created us to worship him and him alone.

Fast forward to the New Testament where Jesus explains God’s purpose in judgment. Jesus the loving and compassionate tells a religious man exactly what God is doing and what God is doing is not a judge-less God wanting the people to just do whatever they want.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 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. John 3:17-19 ESV

The cultural narrative is that God loves everyone. And that is true. Jesus says that God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world not to condemn the world but to save the world. The cultural narrative also says that God just wants everyone to be happy being whoever they want to be and doing whatever they want to do. This is not true. Jesus spells it out “this is the judgment” that Jesus is the light of the world but selfish, evil, and hedonistic humanity loves the darkness and does not want the salvation of Jesus because humanity’s works are “evil”. Jesus described humanity as “evil” that includes me and not just people outside of my affinity group. Furthermore Jesus states clearly that anyone who does not believe in the Son, Jesus, and the light he brings stands judged “condemned” by God.

Just as the Egyptians were condemned because they loved the darkness wanting nothing to do with their Creator so too will we who love what is contrary to God. God has brought light and truth into a dark world yet just as the Egyptians rejected the words of God so too is this current culture stand condemned. God has not changed who he is and we have a choice of salvation through Christ or to continue to love what the darkness wants to be important. Just understand that God and the evil done in darkness are not compatible. One cannot choose this world and what is popular in this world and then stand before God without condemnation.

Dear reader Christ stands at the door to your life. Would you love the politics, the lifestyle, the anger, the disappointment, and the lust of this life more than the salvation that Christ offers where “whoever believes in him is not condemned”?

Genesis 1:14 | No more Darkness

light

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.

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

light

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.