Last week as we studied 1 John 1:5-6 TNIV, we looked at the vast statement ‘God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.’ We discussed the idea of dazzling, blinding light and how God often uses the symbol of fire to represent light, as in the pillar of fire which led the Israelites by night during the wilderness wanderings. We discussed how darkness is the absence of light and how light seems to dawn gradually at times. Light brings clarity to situations and often seems less frightening than the darkness simply because we can actually see where we’re going!
As always, a Bible study triggers ongoing musings and thoughts. I was reminded of Martin Luther King’s profound quotation: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” I also thought about Plato’s statement: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” John echoes that thought in his gospel, saying ‘Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.’ (John 3:20-21 TNIV) Sometimes the darkness actually seems safer than the light, for the light reveals all our sin.
As we reflect on light and darkness, we see that God’s light is holy, revealing His purity and goodness. Phil Wickham has written a song called ‘Holy Light’ which captures this idea well:
“God who reigns over earth and sky,
Flood this world with Your holy light.
Start a fire that will never die;
Flood this world with Your holy light.” (‘Holy Light’, Phil Wickham)
‘Holy Light’, Phil Wickham