Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
~ John 8:12 (NKJV)
We humans become well-acquainted with darkness before we come to know light. Even our conception is wrapped in months of darkness before we are thrust into the world of light.
And so it seems fitting to peek at Darkness before examining Light—even if doing to discloses more than one might prefer to know.
But when I looked for good, evil came to me;
And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
~ Job 30:26 (NKJV)
My personal experience with Darkness began during 23 years of wandering through a spiritual haze, in search of the God Who hovered just outside my reach. My meeting with the Word of God was love at first sight, but three more years of flirting with Darkness prevented me from really knowing Light. The Lord does not tolerate divided allegiances, and waited to reveal Himself until He had all of me.
Since my surrender to God, His Light has dominated my life. I've remained well aware of the presence of Darkness in this world, and have made every effort to fearlessly be the Light of Jesus to everyone around me. In my lack of trepidation, I even prayed to better understand the Darkness against which we battle.
Be very careful of what you pray for.
God granted my prayer. My single, face-to-face encounter with the power of Darkness remains the most horrifying experience of my life. Though I emerged the victor, I'd swear that Darkness still nibbles at my heels, hungry for a rematch.
Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
~ Revelation 16:10 (NKJV)
In the last couple of days, I've studied the 220+ references to darkness in Scripture. Here are some notes.
Several verses make clear that God separates light from darkness on various physical and spiritual levels. God has even veiled Himself in darkness when separating Himself from unholiness. The phrase "shadow of death" occurs 19 times, usually accompanied by references to the dark.
The plague of darkness in Egypt is described as "darkness which may even be felt" (Exodus 10:21). When Revelation describes darkness descending and people gnawing their tongues in pain (above passage), I can imagine a deep darkness so horrific as to cause pain all by itself. The line which divides physical darkness and the power of Darkness is a fine one indeed.
Lastly, here are words and phrases associated with darkness in the Bible.
void, vanity, futile, foolish
gloom, blackness, silent
forsaken, alienated, desolate, wilderness
blindness, obscurity, hide, cover
wander, grope, stagger, bow down
stumble, slippery, unstable
scattered, forgetfulness, unfruitful
woe, sorrow, trouble, anguish, tribulation
sickness, pestilence, lays waste
disaster, destruction, curses, calamity
tempest, overflowing flood, utter end
hatred, persecuted, wrestle, bound in affliction
anger, thief, evil, way of the wicked
beasts creep about, consume
chased, overtake, pursue
captivity, prison, chains of darkness
crushed my life, long dead, cut off, grave
lowest pit, in the depths
bottomless pit, hell, smoke of the pit
outer darkness, weeping, "gnashing of teeth"
haunts of cruelty, power of Satan
horror, terrify, terrible
Next time: Light.
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or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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