Do you love suspense novels? I do. The authors pull us into a scary crisis … then make us wait for the outcome. God (another author) is a master of suspense. But His crisis carries a more piercing fear because God is not writing fiction. His dark and stormy night is real. So is His unexpected solution.
God presents His crisis in the second verse of the bible. He presents His solution in verse three:
Genesis 1:2-3 2And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
God’s crisis of darkness goes far beyond a dark and stormy night. Here is a dark and stormy world, completely threatening were it not for the Hero hovering near: The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. What will the Spirit do? How will He solve the problem? We find out right away – God speaks: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. That’s a surprise. Who would have thought that words – words – would make light pierce darkness?
Light Starts … and Light Continues
When darkness threatens, light calms us. The first thing we do when we hear a bump in the night is turn on a light to see what’s going on. In God Stays Near When Things Are Awful, I describe how God the Spirit replaces darkness with Himself (Genesis 1:2). Now God’s first recorded words calm the crisis of darkness: Let there be light! And light begins.
The entire Trinity (Father, Son, and Spirit) is present at the creation of the world. We’ve already read from Genesis that God the Spirit is hovering over the surface of the water, but did you know that Jesus was there as well? By referring to Jesus as “the Word” who was with God in the beginning, the Gospel of John lets us know that God the Son is present and that God the Father is with Him. By saying that nothing came into being apart from “the Word,” John also seems to imply that Jesus was the one who was doing the speaking. Read it for yourself:
John 1:1-3, 14 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being….14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.(ESV)
Jesus not only speaks light into pre-creation darkness. Millennia later He speaks again, claiming I am the light of the world. (John 8:32.) He’s once again speaking light into darkness – this time into the spiritual darkness of a blinded world. How remarkable.
And It Was Evening and It Was Morning
In our world, darkness comes first; then light invades the darkness. It initially happens when Jesus speaks light into the primordial darkness. But that sequence doesn’t stop with God’s first recorded words. It’s emphasized by what is, to us, unusual wording: and it was evening and it was morning. (See Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31.) That sounds backward to many of us (it’s not how we’d define a day). But by saying and it was evening and it was morning God is making a point: in our world, darkness precedes light. (The Jews, by the way, agree– their daily cycle starts at sundown.)
This light-invades-darkness pattern expands as the bible continues. Even as God is creating the physical world, He knows that a more dangerous crisis of darkness will soon threaten. Darkened minds, darkened hearts, and darkened behavior will infiltrate the loveliness of His newly created world. Physical darkness is merely a picture that points to spiritual darkness. But be assured – God still has the power to overcome darkness with light:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word … 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it … 1:9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, has come into the world. (ESV)
Explore Your Own Beliefs and Behaviors
- Are there times when you find yourself “in the dark” and have no idea how to respond? Do you have dark places in your life? Have you considered asking God to shine the light of His truth on your situation?
- Is it sometimes difficult to believe that God will pierce your crisis of darkness with light?
- While you’re waiting for God to rescue you, do you try to compensate for His apparent inaction? How?
- Would you like for God to “enlighten” you about Himself and show you His real character? (You might ask Him … it’s a fruitful question which He loves to answer.
- God has called us out of darkness into His light (1 Peter 1:9). Have you accepted His invitation?
A Dark and Stormy Night: The Crisis of Darkness
© Lynne Fox, 2017