On the very first day of creation, God creates light. In this moment, we have opposites—light & dark—and the opposing forces (God and Satan) choose which they will utilize for the rest of the story.
Satan is all about darkness. In Romans, Paul explains that when we know God and choose not to worship Him, our minds become dark (1:21). It would seem logical that the same happened to Satan considering he was the first to make that choice. His heart became dark and that became his goal in life: to darken the hearts of others.
The dictionary defines darkness as an absence or deficiency of light. But it also uses phrases like obscurity, concealment, lack of knowledge, and lack of sight.
Satan likes darkness for two reasons:
- He can hide in it– In the darkness, it’s difficult (or even impossible) to see anything for what it really is. All you can make out are meaningless shapes. In the light, you’d be able to see Satan for what he really is. In the darkness, he can make you think he’s something else.
- He can use the dark to hide God– Just as it’s hard to see Satan in the dark, it’s hard to see God, too. We are blinded by the darkness Satan seeks to keep us in (2 Corinthians 4:4). We can’t see God for who He really is. We can’t comprehend the message of the Gospel, and so we remain in the darkness with Satan.
There’s no light apart from God, so when we walk in opposition to Him, we walk in darkness (1 John 1:5-6). We can’t see anything. We can’t find the path. We can’t tell who is leading us. We can’t tell what’s good for us and what will lead us to death.
We need a good, strong, steady light.
My senior year of college I was a Resident Advisor. The RA who lived in my room two years before me was deaf, so they installed one of those fire alarm strobe lights in the room to ensure she’d be aware of when the alarm went off. I did not realize the strobe light was in there. One morning at about 3:00, I was startled from sleep by the sound of the fire alarm. I opened my eyes to discover my room was filled with a flashing light. I don’t know if you realize this, but one of those lights flashing in total darkness wreaks havoc on your depth perception. You should also know that my bed was about 3 feet off the ground in order to accommodate my mini fridge. Needless to say, I pretty much fell out of bed and stumbled to the door. Moral of the story: a flashing light in complete darkness is not at all helpful.
Fortunately we have a good, strong, steady light in God.
“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day,
nor the moon to give its light by night,
for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set;
your moon will not go down.
For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
Your days of mourning will come to an end.”
(Isaiah 60: 19-20, NLT)
He is light Himself, and He gives us His Word as light: Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105, NLT). We don’t have to walk in the darkness. Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for us to be transferred from the darkness to the light (1 Peter 2:9). God calls us to walk in the light because of what He has done for us. There we will find the path with ease (though the path itself might be difficult). We can see who is leading us, and that He is trustworthy. We can see what is good for us and what is bad for us.
Light and darkness seem to be the most basic of opposites in God’s story, and yet they are also the most important. Without light breaking through the darkness, we are stuck with minds blinded to the truth. In the darkness, we can’t see God or Satan for who they really are. Satan tries to keep us there so he can remain in control. But “God, who said ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6, NLT) God uses a light which the darkness cannot overcome in order to reveal truth, to reveal himself. The darkness doesn’t have to win.
Where do you want to be?