Out of darkness
From the second verse of the Bible, the principle of light and darkness was established (Gen 1:1-5). On the first day of creation, the earth was covered in water and darkness. God said, Let there be light”, and there was light. God saw the light was good, and He divided the light from the darkness. The light was called day and the dark was called night. This was the first day. This became a permanent ordinance for the earth (Jer 31:35-36, Jer 33:25-26). Light and darkness also came to symbolize good and evil (Jn 8:12, Jn 9:5, Jn 12:46, 1Pet 2:9, 1Jn 1:5). There are several things to note about Genesis 1:1-5:
1. The darkness was first
2. God saw that the light was good and divided it from the darkness
3. The sun was not made until day 4 (Gen 1:14-19) and was not the source of the light
Since there are parallels between the natural and the spiritual (Rom 1:20), we can understand some things about the spiritual world through this precedent. Technically, there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light. The world already has the darkness (1Jn 5:19). It takes no special effort for that. Light has to be generated by a source. Darkness can never overcome light, but light can always overcome darkness – and it doesn’t take much. When I was in the U.S. Navy, I learned that any area of a vessel that leads outside has red lights instead of white ones because that helps keep the ship less visible in the night. Most outdoor activity was banned when at sea because it is so dark it is almost impossible to see where things are. There is the danger of falling overboard. Those that served on watch outdoors were not allowed to smoke because the burning tip of a cigarette could be seen for four miles and would give away the ship’s location.
We do not have trouble comprehending light shining in the darkness. We are all familiar with turning on a light in a dark room and it being filled with light. The Bible speaks of this:
1. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness (Ps 112:4)
2. 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 (Is 9:2).
3. …when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me (Mic 7:8)
4. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (Jn 1:5)
5. And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in
darkness (Rom 2:19)
However, what we read about in Genesis 1 and other places is something different. It is not light shining in the darkness, but rather out of it:
1. These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of
the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no
more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it
came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders (Deut 5:22-23)
2. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death (Job 12:22).
3. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (Ps 107:14).
4. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness (Is 29:18).
5. To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in
darkness out of the prison house (Is 42:7)
6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Cor 4:6).
7. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1Pet 2:9).
For light to shine in darkness, you must have a source – a light bulb, a candle, a flashlight, etc. For light to shine out of darkness, you have to have a miracle – a light with no apparent source. Light does not come out of darkness. Darkness cannot be a source of light. What was the source of light in Genesis 1 before the sun was made? That passage does not specifically say, but if we use the principle of parallel passages, we get a clue. John 1 and 1John 1 are clearly making reference to the creation account of Genesis 1, and they say the light is God Himself. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world (Jn 9:5)”. He also said He is the morning star (Rev 22:16), and Peter said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2Pet 1:19)”. In what is usually interpreted to be a Messianic prophecy, Malachi said, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings (Mal 4:2)”. Also, in Revelation 22:1-5, we see the restoration of everything lost through sin in the garden of Eden. The new Jerusalem is described this way: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it (Rev 21:23-34)”, and also “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Rev 22:5)”. Read 2Corinthians 4:6 again (number 6 above). God not only shines in the darkness to give us light. He creates light out of nothing from His own glory. He shines out of the darkness to us. Therefore, we should not fear the darkness, and we should walk in His light always.