As a Christian, it is important that we understand who God is. To do that, we can read the names of God used in the bible. Each name declares one part of who God is. Today, LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on God is Light.
LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on Christian living, DIY projects, and the latest book news on her blog. To learn more about her, read her bio at the end of the post.
Before writing her first novel, All Your Heart, Leigh Anne wrote The Little Vessel ** a modern-day parable for all who need reminding that God has a unique purpose for their lives.
**this is an affiliate link, please see my disclosure policy.
God is Light
We live in what many refer to as “dark times.” Global pandemic. Social unrest. Political upheaval. Any of these situations could plummet us into despair.
Uncertainty seems to govern every aspect of life. However, as believers in Jesus, we know that while we should avoid the darkness and all the evil it represents; we need not fear it.
The Bible tells us God is Light.
- 1 John 1:5-6 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”
We see light in the beauty of a rainbow that reiterates His promise from ancient days not to destroy the earth with a flood. The spectrum of color in a rainbow is created by light shining through water droplets. Think about that… God made a promise using light!
His word contains many reassurances that He is indeed Light. (Do a search on your Bible app for the word “light.” I got over 200 hits!)
God is Light from the Start
The idea of God being and embodying light goes all the way back to Creation.
- Genesis 1:3-4 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
There’s so much truth packed into these short verses.
God saw the light and considered it to be good. It can be so easy to read right over that small, but monumentally important, nugget. However, when taken in context with the rest of His Word, we see that immediately, on the very first day of creating everything, He equated the light with that which is good. Then, He separated the light from the darkness.
What crucially important facts to understand!
Darkness and light do not co-exist. When light is brought into the darkness, it banishes the darkness. Wow. The heavy and eternal significance of this foundational truth becomes even clearer when Jesus enters the scene, as we’ll see later.
God is Light in the Wilderness
Centuries after creation, God assured His chosen children of His presence by accompanying them as a pillar of fire at night through the desert. (Exodus 13:21). The fire provided the Israelites the ability to travel throughout the night. A source of light would have also provided protection from animal attacks or enemy forces.
During their long journey, Moses had fellowship with God on Mt. Sinai on more than one occasion. Moses went up the mountain twice for the 10 commandments. Both times, he spent 40 days and 40 nights. (Exodus 19:18-25)
When Moses returned for the second set of stone tablets, he stayed with the Lord for forty days and nights. During this period, he received the covenant God made between Himself and the nation of Israel.
Upon Moses’ return to the Israelites, “his face was radiant,” a physical remnant of his time spent in the glory of the Lord and His powerful holy light. (Exodus 34:29-35)
This account reflects how being in the presence of God changes our countenance.
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The Significance of Light
Throughout the ages, each individual God chose to pen the words of the Bible associated light with the holy perfection of God.
Following the Lord’s example, established at the beginning of time, the concept of darkness signifies sin and evil – things governed by Satan.
Eventually, though, Light always prevails!
Even in Israel’s times of deepest despair and, yes, darkness, the prophets of God proclaimed hope in the light their God promised.
Isaiah 51:4 Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.
God is the Light of the World
Hundreds of years after God promised to send a “light for the Gentiles,” Jesus stepped out of heaven to take on human form, becoming God incarnate.
In John’s account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he states that Jesus (the Word) “was with God,” and “was God.” In the next sentence, John writes:
- John 1:3-5 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This brief but powerful introduction to John’s account clearly proclaims the truth of Jesus’ deity. It shows that Jesus was present at the beginning of time.
It also not only continues the theme of God as light but also gives us a clear picture that Jesus as God in the flesh will not be extinguished.
Even if we didn’t have the rest of John’s book chronicling the life of Jesus, what a reassurance these first words are!
God is Light in the Darkness
Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council known as the Pharisees, came to see Jesus under cover of darkness.
Why in the dark?
Because Nicodemus knew his fellow religious rulers already hated this wise itinerant teacher. Nicodemus needed his meeting with this controversial individual to remain a secret.
Remember the significance of darkness?
Nicodemus wanted to keep his thirst to learn more, in the dark. Maybe he considered such curiosity a sin. However, what he learned during that encounter changed his life, just as it’s changed the lives of millions since.
It was during their secret meeting that Jesus uttered the most recognizable words in the Bible (John 3:16).
A couple of sentences later, though, Jesus made an explosive commentary not only on His own identity but also on the state of Nicodemus’ heart.
- John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: 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 his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
It is Who He Says He Is
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He delivered seven “I AM” statements.
- John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, IAM.”
This may seem like an insignificant detail, but to the Jews of Jesus’ day, such statements would have been considered heretical.
Let’s rewind to Moses.
When God confronted Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, a terrified Moses asked God who he should say sent him to demand the release of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. God instructed Moses to tell them “I AM” sent Him. This name firmly declared God’s supreme power. Greater than any earthly ruler.
Fast forward back to Jesus’ bold declarations. Jesus stating saying ” I am” shows that Jesus is declaring He is the same of the person who talked to Moses at the burning bush.
God is Light for All
Although the truth of His teaching penetrated many searching souls, Jesus’ claims created fury among religious leaders. Most were too blind to see the Truth they, and their ancestors had sought for centuries.
In the second “I AM” statement of his ministry, Jesus said:
- John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus faced immediate opposition by the Pharisees for this declaration.
How sad, and tragically ironic, that the Light of the world was sent to save the very ones, God’s beloved Jews, who doubted, opposed, and, ultimately, killed Him.
Not long before Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion, He tried to tell his dear friends of the events to come. Again, He reminded them of the crucial distinction between Light and darkness.
- John 12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
There was no way for the disciples to understand the horrible, dark truth of the pain that awaited their friend. Most of them, however, would later carry the Light to distant lands, seeking to abolish the darkness as Jesus had commissioned them to do.
So, what became of Nicodemus after his late-night meeting with our Savior?
The next mention of him is after the crucifixion. Nicodemus assisted with preparing Jesus’ body for emplacement in a borrowed tomb. No longer in the dark, Nicodemus was truly a changed man.
God is Eternal Light
The early church understood the importance of aligning themselves with the Light and desired for Jews and Gentiles to do the same. John, Peter and Paul all refer to Jesus in terms of His light, equated to His holiness.
Now, in this time of so much darkness, division, and chaos all around us, how can we know the Light will overcome the darkness?
Has the world gone too far to ever be back in the Light, the holy glow of God’s glory?
The good news is that God is victorious, both now and forever. John saw the beauty of God’s victory when he recorded his vision in the Book of Revelation.
After writing of the horror of God’s wrath and His judgment on the enemy, John tells of the incomparable beauty of the new heaven.
- Revelation 21:22-24 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it.
And, just like that, God perfectly wraps up His love letter to His people by exhibiting the radiance of His sovereign perfection.
Darkness will be no more because the Light will reign!
We have just seen that Light defines who God is and what He is. In the comments below, share your thoughts about God is light.