|Douglas Frank Photograph|
Darkness into Light
Light is shining in 263 verses in Scripture. Yet sadly dark or darkness shows up 350 times. Why is that? Because God showed up and created light out of the darkness. Yet man seems to like the darkness to hide and stay out of God’s perceived judgment. However, “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Light is healing and brings all into view, including evil. That is the problem as I see it for man. We just don’t seem to want light shining on our dark places. This is tragically sad, because God did not come into the world to condemn but to save and heal. By His wounds on the cross Isaiah tells us “our wounds are healed.” But the vast majority of mankind will have none of that or His peace. We seem to prefer pain and greed, envy and angst against ourselves and other people. Now that is not just a negative view, it is what the Bible tells us from Genesis to Revelation. There always has been a solution. “You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light” (2 Samuel 22:29).
The hurricanes and earthquakes have been literally biblical in proportion. Strange thing is that the awful and dark news coverage the days before they hit, although covering devastation, also covered man-helping man. Compassion and caring hands have dominated the news. For the first time, my hospital patients have commented with a sense of hope at the helpfulness demonstrated to one another. The topic of this essay is light in the darkness; hope is the face of despair. The world is living in despair that is the lot of the unredeemed. It is the land of Job before he saw God, “to the land of deepest night, of utter darkness and disorder, where even the light is like darkness.” (Job 10:22). Satan as God Himself allowed devastated Job, a special man of God. I believe people have looked at that story and sadly come away believing that God is hateful and punishing, full of darkness and not light. But actually the opposite is true. “He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light” (Job 12:22). Job finally saw the revealed Creator God, bringing darkness to light and good out of evil. That is a constant thread in the Bible from its first written book, Job.
Sadly today our society is fractionated into tribes, like in ancient and warring cultures. Again tragically it is the plight of mankind unless they look up, repent and find salvation or redemption from evil, darkness and sin. “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous” (Psalm 112:4). This psalm is the eulogy of the upright like Psalm 1 that characterizes the man who like a tree is planted in the living water of God’s word. This is the story of Christmas and the need for God to incarnate as Jesus Christ, born into the world to suffer as a living sacrifice for mankind that we might see the face of God and seek Him in His righteousness. This is the true story that the Prophet Isaiah foretells 700 years before His birth saying, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
Today, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Today God’s light and love is present even in the disasters and political battling. Yes, it is horrific and difficult to observe and experience. But God has come to redeem the world and nothing can overcome Him and His loving power made perfect in our weakness. So,“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).