Sunday June 20 Happy Father’s Day

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD,

And the Word was GOD.

The same was in the beginning with GOD.

And all things were made by Him; and without Him was nothing made

that was made.

In Him was life and the life was the light of men.

And the light shone in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.”

(John 1:1-5)

A very familiar passage and one that I have commented upon many times. Today, I wish to focus on the last two sentences.

“In Him was life and the life was the light of men.

And the light shone in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”

This was the second time that “light shone into darkness.” The first occurrence is recorded in Genesis 1:1-2.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void;

and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

Light shone in the darkness.

And as that first light brought life in the beginning into a darkness, so too, a second time, The Light brings life into our present personal dark world.

The first light was well received by the world, the second not so much so.

The first light brought life and so too does the second Light.

Neither occasion was understood by the overwhelming preceding darkness – And the darkness comprehended it not.”

Light after all, is completely foreign to darkness.

They are in fact, the antithesis of each other.

Light became the death knell of darkness.

The two cannot coexist in the same space or time.

After all, did not God separate the light from the dark, giving each their own name – day and night.

Our modern expression – “different as day and night,” speaks to our acceptance of the fundamental difference between the two phenomenon.

“The darkness comprehended it not.”

Darkness has absolutely no comprehension of light – how could it, for as soon as light arrives, darkness needs to leave.

The moment light enters, darkness flees.

Darkness cannot stay around long enough to ponder the wonder of light.

Not only can darkness not “hang around,” it is unable to “stand against”  light. It is powerless to oppose light.

Darkness vanishes the instant light appears.

There is no reasoning against light – the moment it is, darkness is not. Light comes and darkness must leave.

Light can focus upon an object and a shadow may result, but all shadows are completely subservient to the focused light. As the light shifts, the shadow is forced to move in response.

The tiniest source of light throws aside the most compelling darkness. One can stand upon a darkened cottage-country-shoreline and spy the smallest far away point of light.

It’s shaft of light pierces the gloom for miles. As the word of GOD pierced the waters of the Red Sea, thrusting the waters aside, so His light pierces the darkness.

And as the Red Sea waters had no choice but to divide, so too darkness has no say when light appears. It must recede. It must pull back.

This is partially what is meant by the statement, “And the darkness comprehended it not.”

The waters of the Red Sea comprehended the spoken word – the command to pull back, that caused them to obey, even though they lacked the full, deeper understanding behind the spoken word – the awesome might of the Creator that compelled them to obey. Darkness, on the other hand, has no comprehension of the nature of light nor of the laws that govern it.

Darkness is governed by a whole different set of “laws.”

Up until light arrived darkness had its way. Before the first appearing, darkness was all there was.

Darkness ruled – without constraint – without limitations.

But the moment the word was spoken everything changed.

Light’s appearing put an end to both of these qualities of darkness.

When GOD established the sea and the firmament (land in this reference), He set a constraint upon the waters. Jeremiah 5:22 NKJV explains.

“Do you not fear me? says the LORD. Will you not tremble at my presence,

Who have placed the sand as a bound for the sea, by a perpetual decree,

that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet

they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.”

The darkness, like the waters, has a constraint.

The darkness, like the seas, has an applied limitation set upon it by a perpetual decree!

Darkness is constrained and limited by an everlasting decree.

I’m reminded of the words and actions of Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings as he stood opposing the advancement of darkness epitomized in the Balrog.  Light burst from Gandalf’s staff and he declared, “You shall not pass!” 1 and darkness was constrained and cast down.

As the first light was light for creation, so the second Light is light to bring about a new creation.

This is stated for us in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away

behold, all things have become new.”

Back to John 1.

“In Him was life and the life was the light of men.”

The first light lighted every tree, bird, fish and blade of grass making it possible for each to draw and sustain life from it.

So now, The Second Light, the True Light, makes it possible for any man to draw and sustain new life from Him.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of GOD,

Even to them that believe on his name.” – John 1:12

Later in John 1 reading verses 9 we hear,

“that was the true Light which lights every man that comes into the world.”

This Second Light came to deliver the world from spiritual darkness. Yet in the midst of our spiritual darkness we failed to comprehend at first. Listen to verse 10 of John 1.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him,

and the world knew him not.”

Darkness fails to comprehend light. This spiritual darkness that shrouded mankind was as deep as the darkness that covered the earth in the beginning.

Listen to the account concerning the Pharisee Nicodemus as given in John 3:3.

“And Jesus answered Nicodemus and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say unto you,

except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of GOD.’”

There was no “seeing” for Nicodemus until there was light.

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that a second birth was needed – a spiritual awakening of his own spirit. His spirit needed to be enlightened, by The Light of the world.

Nicodemus had “come to Jesus by night” (John 3:2), signifying, among other things, the darkness that shadowed his comprehension.  His personal darkness was shattered by The Light come into the world.

It would have been ludicrous for the trees and the animals and grasses to have rejected GOD’s first light as it burst forth upon them, and yet here in John 3:19 we read of the rejection of this GOD’s second gift of Light.

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

The first light was accepted and received with rejoicing – and GOD pronounced everything “good.” Yet here, the second time, with the coming of GOD’s precious gift of Light, men not only embraced the darkness but they actually hated the Light. John 3:20 reads,

“For everyone who does evil hates the light, neither does he come to the light,

less his deeds should be reproved.”

The word was spoken in darkness and the first dawn of light appeared; The Word made flesh stepped into our dark world and His light blazed forth a new dawn.

Sin hides in darkness. Sin separates a person from GOD. But GOD separated darkness from light.

We must not hide in darkness if we are to commune with GOD. We must cross over.

Last day we saw that Jesus is our Bridge over troubled waters – 2 He is our Bridge from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light.  Listen to Colossians 1:13.

“Who [GOD], has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has

translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.”

A Bridge from darkness to light. The Causeway across the great divide. Since GOD divided the light from the darkness He also provided the means of passing over – the cross of Christ.

Christ is the means of our passing over and He is also the One who lights the way.

We are called to come out of our darkness and walk in the light the LORD has provided. Consider Psalm 56:13 along with Psalm 89:15.

“For Thou has delivered my soul from death: will you also not deliver my feet from falling,

that I may walk before GOD in the light of the living?”

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they will walk Oh LORD in the light of Your countenance.”

Here we are urged to abandon our darkness and choose to cross over into the light of His presence.

Light and the living are joined together; we find life in Him for He is our Life, and a life worth the living for such a life resides in His Light for eternity.

And by shedding the darkness we come and draw nigh to Him and dwell within the glow of His countenance.

Why would anyone choose to have their abode in the darkness. A person remains in darkness because of their life of sin. Sin needs to hide – but our sin has been dealt with so why linger any longer in darkness? A choice is presented, a life in sin or a life in Him.

Numbers 32:23 warns us that “our sin will find us out.” This is one game of hide-and-seek we are sure to lose.

Come into the radiance of His countenance. Stop trying to light your own way.

There is a line from a song by the Doors in the late sixties that goes:

“Come on baby light my fire, try to set the night on fire.” 3

Sorry, baby’s not up to the task. Isaiah 50:10-11 speaks of this very thing!

“Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant,

that walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD

and stay upon his God.

Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks:

walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled.

This will you have of my hand: you shall lie down in sorrow.”

Here we are, lighting our own fires; creating our own religions; rejecting GOD’s Light and we continue stumbling in a darkness of our own making. Keep Your Light high Oh LORD. Be a Lamp unto our feet and a Light to our path. (Ps. 119:105)

The final scene from the movie No Country for Old Men has Tommy Lee Jones, a retired sheriff telling his wife about a dream he had the night before. It concerned the sheriff and his dead father. It speaks to me about the futility of man’s efforts to hold back the darkness on their own, of following their own light. Below is a transcript of his soliloquy as he tells of his second dream of his father riding  past him in the night.

. . . . . it was like we was both back in older times.

 

And I was a-horseback, going through the mountains of a night.

 

Going through this pass in the mountains.

 

It was cold, and there was snow on the ground.

 

And he rode past me and kept on going…

 

…never said nothing going by, just rode on past.

 

He had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down.

 

When he rode past, I seen he was carrying fire in a horn…

 

…the way people used to do, and I…

 

I could see the horn from the light inside of it…

 

’bout the colour of the moon.

 

And, in the dream, I knew that he was…

 

…going on ahead.

 

He was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and cold.

 

And I knew that whenever I got there, he’d be there.

 

And then I woke up.4  

 

The image of the sheriff’s father riding past him in all that dark, going on ahead with fire in a horn speaks of man’s efforts to light their own fires, to light their own way. Also, there is a generational curse depicted in this dream. Fathers passing their fires onto their sons. Such sadness, such futility, and so unnecessary. For we have One Who lights our way. A sure Light to lead us through the darkest nights. We light our fires trying to push back the night, but all our efforts are soon extinguished.

 

Before Jesus came bringing His light with Him, we all huddled in the darkness trying to light our own way. It didn’t work. We were all completely isolated in the darkness of our own doing, groping about for a way out, lighting fires, striking sparks but still overwhelmed by an oppressing unrelenting shroud of blackness. Isaiah 59:9 explains.

“Therefore judgment is far from us, neither does justice overtake us:

We wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.”

Why remain in the darkness? Jesus said in John 8:12 the following.

“I am the light of the world: he that follows me will not walk in darkness,

but will have the light of life.”

As the first light lighted the way for life to flourish, so the Second Light lights the way for life to flourish, but on a much higher level. GOD separated the light from the dark, the day from the night. Jesus continued this truth in John 11:9-10.

“Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day he stumbles not,

because he sees the light of this world.

But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles because there is no light in him.”

The phrasing of this Scripture is fascinating. If a man walks in the day he doesn’t stumble. This is because he is walking in the light as Jesus is in the light. This stumbling is not one of physically tripping though that is the metaphor being applied, it is, rather, stumbling in our moral walk.

Since the person is walking by day – in the light – their sin has been removed. This is the statement of 1 John 1:7.

“If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,

And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

So, we come out of the darkness into His glorious light, and our sins are removed.

No longer the need to hide from the light because our sins are severe, we can now boldly step into His light and feel no fear or guilt.

There is an additional bonus – blessing – awaiting us as we venture out into the light.

We spoke earlier of how darkness cannot comprehend the light.

Darkness is unable to stand against light. The moment light appears darkness must flee.

And this applies to all those powers and principalities and strongmen and demons who inhabit the dark places of this world.

There is a quote oft spoken by Lady Melisandre from Game of Thrones, “The night is dark and full of terrors.”5

Well, this may apply to those who choose to inhabit darkness but it certainly does not apply to those of us who walk in His Light.

The occupiers of darkness cannot comprehend the light. They are powerless to oppose the Light. When He appears into any situation the darkness must flee.

The darkness cannot reason with His Light, only obey.

James 4:7.

“Submit yourself to GOD. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We submit to GOD by choosing to walk in the Light. We resist the devil by understanding that he is powerless to confront the Light, and the result will always be his fleeing.

GOD separated the light from the dark; He has separated we who inhabit His Light from any and all powers of darkness.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD,

And the Word was GOD.

The same was in the beginning with GOD.

And all things were made by Him; and without Him was nothing made

that was made.

In Him was life and the life was the light of men.

And the light shone in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.”

(John 1:1-5)

We have nothing to fear of darkness. GOD has separated it far from us. And every entity that dwells in darkness has no concept of what occurs within His Light for the darkness comprehends nothing of light.

 

Let me conclude with Ephesians 5:8.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the LORD:

Walk as children of light:” (NKJV) Amen.

1  J. R. R. Tolkien Fellowship of the Ring page 345

2  Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Waters

3  The Doors Come on Baby Light My Fire 1967

4  Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

5  George R. R. Martin Game of Thrones

 

 

Pastoral Prayer

Almighty God! Maker of Heaven and Earth! We are so blessed to be able to walk as ‘sons’ in the Light where all darkness must flee. Hallelujah! Thank you Lord for this wonderful message from our Pastor. It is so encouraging and so energizing.

Thank You for reminding us Lord that when You speak Your Word, miracles happen. You said, “let there be light” and there was light. How absolutely amazing! I just don’t know how we in our weakness so often fall into doubt and unbelief, but we do. Thank You for reminding us that You are a big, big God and nothing, no nothing, is too hard for You.

Thank You Lord for reminding us that even as the light from the sun brings life and sustains it so does our Lord Jesus bring life and sustain it. Jesus indeed is our very life and we all need to cling to Him for the sustaining of that life. It’s like the branches of the grape vine, if they separate from the vine, they will die. So it is with us Lord, help us to remember that and be willing to cling to You. It is not a sign of weakness but rather of sign of great wisdom. And Lord, help us not to just be willing but by an act of our will, help us to be determined to cling to Jesus, who is our very life. Hallelujah! I’m hearing the song “Awake, My Soul” (Chris Tomlin) burst forth in my heart. Hallelujah!  We “come alive” when we cling to You Lord, and You “breathe” Your life into us, upon us and around us. Oh! You bring us “from death to life”. We “are nothing without You”, Lord Jesus, oh! “Speak to us, Word of God! We come alive when You speak” and we walk in the Light of Your Word. Jesus walked in the Light. Jesus Himself is the Light. Oh Hallelujah! Help us to fully absorb this wonderful truth Father. Have Your Way with us Lord. Oh!

Help us to remember Lord that when we submit to God, darkness flees. How do we submit Lord? You have taught us Lord that when we worship, when we confess Your Word, when we pray, when we read and study the Bible, we are submitting to You. Hallelujah! Darkness flees. Light reigns! Joy abounds! Your sweet Presence fills the space! Oh! Glory to God!

Darkness cannot stand against the Light. It is powerless! Darkness vanishes when confronted with Light. It has no substance! Darkness is obliterated by Light. It has no feet or legs to stand on! Darkness cannot reason with the Light, it must obey!  Awake my soul to these incredible truths!

Thank You Bob for reminding us that “the moment the Word of God” is “spoken, everything changes.” (p. 3) And how wonderful to realize that “darkness is constrained and limited by an everlasting decree.” (p. 3) This makes us realize how powerless Satan and his darkness is against us. We do not need to fear, because God has fortified us with the Light. The Light is Jesus. The Light is His Word and it has creative power. It has eternal power. Nothing can change that. Wow!

Thank You Lord God that we never need to need to walk in darkness again because You have delivered us from the power of darkness, and have translated us into the kingdom of Your dear Son. Thank You Almighty God for providing the Way for us to pass from darkness into the Light through the cross.  Help us Lord not to be enticed by the way of the world which is to create sparks (ideas and theologies that are ungodly)  that will build fires (self-centered religions) that will provide false light which  have no power to dispel the darkness.

Help us Lord to make up our minds to walk in the Light as Jesus is in the Light. That makes it possible for us to be free from the power of sin and to love our fellow man as Jesus taught us to. We want our lives to honour You Lord and bring glory to Your name.

As I come to concluding this prayer, the Lord has asked me to include some Bible verses about healing and Light and Life. I have modified the verses, making them more personal as is fitting that we may make use them for personal confessions:

  • Christ is my life, I will walk in His (manifest) glory. – Colossians 3:4
  • The eyes of the Lord are upon me and His ears are open to my cry. The Lord is always thinking about me and is especially near when my heart is breaking. The Lord delights in my well-being. – Psalm 34:15; 139:17; 34:18; 35:27b
  • Just as the rain and snow fall upon the earth to water it, making things grow, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so Your Word, Lord, does not return to You empty or void but accomplishes the purpose for which You send it. – Isaiah 55:8-11 MSG, NKJV
  • I worship You Lord, Your Word is health to my flesh and strength to my bones. – Proverbs 3:4-8
  • I shall not die but live and proclaim the wonderful works of the Lord. – Psalm 118:17
  • I listen to You Lord, I agree with your Word, and submit to Your sayings. I will keep Your Word before my eyes and in the centre of my heart. Your Word is life, healing and health to all of me. Help me to establish Your Word in my heart and to guard it well. – Proverbs 4:20-23
  • Life and death are in the power of the tongue. I love God’s Word and I speak Life over my body according to His Word, and I am walking in the harvest of my faith-filled Words. – Proverbs 18:20-21
  • The Word of God is Life. – John 1:1-5 (It overcomes death in any situation or circumstance.)
  • The Word of God is Light. – John 1:1-5 (It overpowers and shatters the darkness.)
  • I choose to walk in the Light of the Truth of Your Word, as Jesus is in the Light. – 1 John 1:7a
  • I will wait for You Lord, I expectantly wait, and in Your Word do I hope. Psalm 130:5
  • O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2b
  • Lord, Your kingdom come in me, as it is in Heaven.– Matthew 6:10 (there is no sickness in Heaven)
  • Give me this day my daily bread, for spiritual well-being, physical health, and emotional and mental balance. – Matthew 6:11
  • I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy Lord, and in Your steadfast Love. You have seen my affliction and taken notice of my life’s distresses. – Psalm 31:7
  • Lord, Your Word says You are good to those who wait expectantly for You, to those who seek You, [inquiring of You and for You and requiring You by right of necessity and on the authority of Your Word]. Lamentation 3:25 AMPC
  • The word that God speaks is alive and full of power, it is sharper than any two-edged sword. As I confess Your Word Lord, it penetrates to every part of me, and brings healing to all of me: body, soul and spirit; including my _____________________ . – Hebrews 4:12 (Fill in the blank with your own special needs for healing.)

 

Hallelujah! Thank You Lord that You delight in our well-being. Thank You for Your unfailing love. Thank You that You have made it possible for us to walk in the Light every day for as it is says in Malachi 4:2  – As we worship You Lord, “the Sun of Righteousness,” our Jesus, “rises with healing in His wings” for each one of us. Jesus is the “Sun of Righteousness”, because, like the Sun, His Light is unfailing and it is new every morning, rising to make the darkness vanish, bringing righteousness and healing.

In Jesus mighty name we pray and make our confessions. Amen. 

 

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