Why Start with Light?
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. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. – Genesis 1:3-5
Light is the first thing required for any activity. Without it, there can never be any state of order. We all understand this, evidenced by our need of doing our work in the daytime before it gets dark. When we do have to work at night, we do so only with the aid of light bulbs and lamps. Note this first light is different from that from the sun, moon, and starts. Jesus is our light, without who there is neither order nor life in our existence. He therefore encourages us to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). He asks us to trade our heavy burdens for His light and easy yoke.
Darkness Must Not Prevail
Here we see God committing to the restoration of earth, first by making the light and, immediately after, by giving it the necessary power to push back the darkness (John 1:5). This is a fundamental truth about the light; it has power over darkness. Have you noticed that no matter how dark a room is, the tiniest light will chase the darkness away? And as long as there is light in a room, darkness cannot get in there for it does not have any power over the light. John chapter 1 makes it clear that there is light in the Word of God, able to light the heart of every man that comes into the world. That light, Jesus, appeared to a people about 2000 years ago who were sitting in the dark corners of this world. The darkness tried to put out that light, but it shone the more to this day.
Darkness is an ever-present feature in our world today. Sin abounds, pain and rejection afflict people around us regardless of success or failure in life or business. Many walk around in despair, having no hope or a sense of purpose. Many desire for nothing more than a kind word to ease their pain and a reason to go on. Millions are overwhelmed by a sense of despair, thinking the future is bleak and no one really cares. They look ahead, but see no way out. They reach forward for strength, but find none to lean upon. So they walk in the dark, stumbling at every turn and wondering when it would all end. The darkness is intense, the sorrow real, the pain unbearable, yet there is a light in the horizon.
The life in the Word of God is the light that we need. Jesus says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Is your heart heavy and the future uncertain? Come and let Him give you a reason to live. Let Him take away your mourning and give you cause to rejoice. Let Him take away your tears and put a song in your mouth. Your sadness will be replaced by the joy of His salvation. Let His light drive away that darkness in your heart, so that you may find your place and purpose in this world.
There is a component of this contrast between light and darkness that I visualize in my mind, but it may very well get me bashed by theologians. I will discuss it nonetheless. Ephesians 6:12 describes an entity called the “rulers of the darkness of this world,” stating that they are one of the forces we wrestle against. The kingdom of God is not simply a kingdom of words (1 Corinthians 4:20) and flesh, but a spiritual kingdom, a supernatural one.
The Bible uses the physical to explain the spiritual to us, so when He speaks of darkness, it is a reference to both the physical and the spiritual. Now the physical is obvious, but what do I mean by spiritual darkness? The Bible often uses the word “darkness” to represent where sin abounds and where judgment is enforced, a place of misery and pain, the dwelling place of the devil and his angels (demons). Even today, we associate night and darkness with bad things. I have met people who are afraid of the dark, but never seen anyone afraid of daylight (unless you really think you are a vampire). So I believe Genesis 1:2 was also telling us that the devil and his hosts had overrun the earth. That is another reason why I believe it was difficult to differentiate between the earth and the heaven.
On day 1, God therefore puts a barrier between the light and the darkness. He draws the devil’s host from earth so He could plant his beautiful garden in Eden. Maybe you are asking how am I sure of this. In Daniel 10:12-13, we read about the angel that appeared to Daniel. He claimed he had been sent with the answer to Daniel’s prayer, but for 20 days, the Prince of Persia resisted him until God sent Michael as reinforcement. If answers to prayers come from above, then the hindrance must be between God’s throne and the earth. Also note how Christ describes His second coming: “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the POWERS that are in heaven shall be shaken“. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory (Mark 13:25- 26).
He has to shake the powers up there in the heaven before He can get through to us. He describes His second coming as a descent from above (physically). If you remember the story in Acts, when the disciples stood there staring after the ascended Messiah, the angel said to them, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing UP into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken UP from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). There is a major spiritual highway in our skies that is not normally visible to the human eye.
Another supporting passage can be seen in Ephesians 2:2 where apostle Paul calls the Devil the prince of the power of the air. He is associated with trespasses, sin, and disobedience. We do not need to be scientists to know where the air is or from where it comes. There is a spiritual cloud over the earth, populated by the host of darkness through which our prayers need to pass in order to reach the throne of God. It is one reason why we are warned “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against POWERS, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Note the use of the word “powers” as in Mark 13:25-26.
In conclusion, before any work could be done on earth, God had to separate the light from the darkness. Likewise, before God can really work in us, He has to separate the darkness with the Light of His Word. We must first be born again by the Word and by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-5). When we accept the redemption work of the Messiah, the veil of darkness is lifted from our hearts and we acquire spiritual clarity (2 Corinthians 3:13-17 and 2 Corinthians 4:3). Only then can our real spiritual journey start and our true story begin. May the Grace of the Most High keep us, and may the eyes of our understanding be open to His Word.
Back to the beginning of Genesis.