From the Preacher’s Pen…
This past Monday we saw here in Casa Grande a partial eclipse of the sun. For a short time, the moon covered a portion of the sun. While it never got completely dark, it did make for an eerie orange color to the daylight.
Of course in other areas to the north of us, there was a strip across the continent of totality, total darkness. It was a good time to remember a bit about the subject of darkness and light and our God…
This world began in darkness (Genesis 1:2) but with the actions of God, light was created and God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:4). As creation continued God created the sun to govern the day and separate the light from darkness… and it was good (Genesis 1:18).
As human beings experienced life on this earth they understood that night and darkness were more dangerous times. Harm could hide in the darkness and be unseen until too late. But they also learned that with God it was not so. The Psalmist would write: If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. (Psalm 139:11-12) And darkness would increasingly be associated with sin, Satan and the wicked (Proverbs 4:19).
When Israel, the northern kingdom of God’s people, was destroyed for their sin the prophet Isaiah would continue to preach to the southern kingdom of Judah about the dangers of that darkness (Isaiah 8:22). But there was always hope, always the promise of God that one day… The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them (Isaiah 9:2). And, On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, And out of their gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see (Isaiah 29:18).
Even as the storms gather and difficulties seem to take over, the promise would always shine through: For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you (Isaiah 60:2). Years later as the darkness overwhelmed the nation Jeremiah would echo the same lessons.
And darkness fell
Yes, there would be a return from captivity for many of God’s people but even then they recognized that their real hope, their real light was still to come.
And then one day the light came into the world… and they missed Him. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5) God would even explain it to them (Matthew 4:12-16) and yet they would not see.
They refused to see the light until one day it was extinguished again: Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. (Matthew 27:45)
Darkness! Darkness over all when there should have been only light for you to see, it was NOT an eclipse. By the laws of nature that the Creator Himself had hard coded into His creation there simply cannot be an eclipse of the sun at Passover. Never. Not going to happen. And yet there was darkness… and fear… and wonder… and then it was over.
The darkness actually failed as the Christ was seemingly extinguished, the light of the world supposedly gone out.
In so many ways darkness seemed to almost win. For three days a unique spiritual gloom seemed to reign. And then the Great and Glorious Day of the Lord came (Acts 2:20). The light was victorious!
In the coming years the sermons of God’s spokesmen would ring with the reminder:
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12)
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (Ephesians 5:8).
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:5-6)
The darkness is gone
The light, the Light of the world is here. And He has called you to live for Him… now and forever.
— Lester P. Bagley