Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Darkness: Physical Darkness

Darkness is something that each of us have experienced. It gets dark each night. In some parts of the world it is dark for months at a time. Darkness is something that we are so used to that we do not pay much attention to it. I have found that darkness is a pretty interesting topic in the Bible.

Darkness is Made by the Divine

In the book of Genesis we are told that in the beginning the earth was without form, it was void and that darkness completely covered the earth. It remained dark right up to the time that God moved upon the face of the earth and created light. Before the first tree, the first insect, the first animal, one thing covered the earth. When the earth was made God created darkness to cover it.

We know in the account of creation, God looked upon the earth and determined that it was not good for the earth to be in a constant state of darkness so he created great lights to rule over the day and night. These great lights are the sun and the moon. But, before God created the sun or the moon He created darkness.

Some have said that there is no such thing as darkness there is just the absence of light. Others believe that darkness is not something God created, but rather something that was just always here. I would ask you to consider the following verses.

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”   Isaiah 45:7

“Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.”   Psalms 104:20

It seems that darkness is one of the Lord’s greatest creations. Have you ever considered that without the creation of both light and darkness we would be unable to determine the time of day, the days of the week, the weeks of the month or the months of the year? Everything God does is done with order, therefore one of His first, and greatest creations was darkness.

Darkness is Measured in Degrees

Darkness is referred to in many different ways in the Bible.

Great darkness – In Genesis 15:12 we find the story of God speaking to Abraham, as He did so many times. Abraham was praying for a child, when God speaks to him and commands him to look into the sky. God then challenges him to count the stars, promising that his children will be innumerable just as the stars are innumerable. As they are speaking back and forth it keeps getting later and later into the night. At this point the Bible says that “an horror of great darkness” came upon Abraham.

Have you ever been outside and it was not just dark, but it was really dark? This is great darkness.

Darkness that could be felt – In Exodus 10:21 we find that God punishes the hard hearted Pharaoh and his people with a punishment of darkness. This darkness was so great the people could not leave their homes for three days. It is said that this darkness was so great that you could actually feel the darkness.

God will use the punishment of darkness again. According to the book of Revelation God will punish the wicked with darkness on three different occasions.

Thick darkness – When God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses we are told that He spoke to Moses out of “thick darkness.” You can read this story in Deuteronomy 5:22

Gross darkness – In Jeremiah 13:16 the prophet warns the people to glorify God. If this people continued refusing to give God the glory He rightly deserved the result would be “gross darkness.”

Extreme darkness – The most terrible form of darkness is “extreme darkness.” Extreme darkness is the darkness found in Hell. In Matthew 8:12 we are told of those that were to be cast into “outer darkness.” The word “outer” means to be extreme. Those that go to hell will suffer many punishments; one of them will be the punishment of extreme darkness.

Darkness is Miraculously Displayed

There are several times in the Bible when God performed miracles of darkness.

Sinai – As mentioned God spoke to Moses out of darkness. We also read in the book of Hebrews that the mountain itself was covered with darkness. Anyone who touched the mountain, or came close to the darkness would die.

Egypt – I have previously mentioned the punishment of darkness, but it more than just a punishment, it was a miracle. It was a miracle that the Egyptians could not see to leave their homes, but the Jews had light in their homes.

Calvary – We all know the story of the cross. While the Lord hung on the brutal cross, God caused the sun to become dark for three hours. How miraculous it must have been when all of a sudden God just turned the lights out.

Just after the tribulation – One last time the Lord will perform a miracle of darkness. According to Matthew 24:29 just after the tribulation God will turn the lights off. When he does this the earth will shake, stars will fall from the sky and the heavens themselves will shake.

The next time its dark I hope you think of this lesson and realize that you are experiencing a creation of God. God created all things. All things are created for His pleasure. He has a purpose for all of His creations, and will use them in whatever way needed to bring glory to Himself.

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