Light and Dark #4 – Christmas Characters

Isaiah 9: 2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Darkness and Light is very much a part of the Christmas story, just because they do not breathe has nothing to do with anything!  Holding to the idea of God starting with darkness and then bring light plays very much into the First Coming of Jesus.

This image in Isaiah 9: 2 where it is foretold that Galilee would see a great light.  Verse 6 of chapter 9 is also a much-used Christmas verse. In chapter 8 we see what was happening in Isaiah’s life as well as Israel at the time of this word.  Isaiah and his children are physical signs to a nation that was not following God, and Assyria is predicted to come and sweep the land clean. Galilee was part of the Northern Kingdom that left the worship of God for idols.  Kings and Chronicles go into detail of their unfaithfulness and for Galilee to be associated with Gentiles or the nations hints how far they had fallen. 9: 2 tells us that the people were in darkness (spiritual darkness) and that they would see a great light.  This is the region where Jesus did much of His earthly ministry, they saw the Light!  Isaiah 8: 19 – 22 paints the picture of mediums and spiritualists with the people being distressed, hungry, and fearful.

Dark and light set the stage for the angels’ announcement to the shepherds in Luke 2: 8 – 12.  It was night all around the shepherds when the Glory (light) replaced the darkness and they heard that the Light of the World had come.

Joseph was in darkness (night, asleep) when the angel told him to accept the Light and marry Mary. Joseph had several dreams that would lead him into the light he needed: to go to Egypt, to return, and to go to Galilee.

The Wise Men also show our dark to light theme in Matthew 2: 2; 9 -10.  They were the living definition of the Gentiles in Isaiah 8, they worshipped the stars and sought guidance from the created not the Creator! So, in their night they saw a light (star – “every star a burning signal fire of grace” from the song 100 Billion X by Hillsong) that would lead them to worship the King!  The Father also gave them night visions to protect the Light and sent them home a different route.

After many Nativity movies and planetarium shows on the Christmas star, I will admit this thought is not mine or original.  I have heard about comets and stars in the wrong constellations, then there was the animated movie that the door to heaven was left open as explanations for the star. We know that the glory showed in the night sky over Bethlehem.  The Magi eluded they saw the star/light when the king was born.  It reappeared after leaving Jerusalem and then stationed itself over where Jesus was. (I think the Holy Family went back to Nazareth before going to Egypt.)  The Magi gave Herod a two-year period since they observed the star.  I find it easier to believe that the star/light was angels on “star-duty” than a comet or out of place star.

To tell the story of Christmas there has to be darkness, and Light came in to show the way.

See the post Follow the Light.

pic: http://clipart.christiansunite.com

FURTHER THOUGHT – Compare the Christmas story to Genesis 1 and the “First Day”.

Light and Dark #3 – Darkness then Light

Matthew 10: 27 (NIV) What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

This verse is part of the instructions Jesus gave the disciples before He sent them out to be light! There will be dark times, they may be times of trial that we are enduring, or they could be chosen study times when you rise before the sun comes up.  Just because it is dark does not mean that Jesus is not with you.  Work to open up to Him and know what He wants you to get from the experience.  

In Light and Dark #2, I mentioned a pattern that God uses – dark then light.  He brought this into play when He created time.  Genesis 1 – the evening and the morning make up a day. (See Time and Biblical Calendar) This is how the Jews mark their day and one part of this concept is that we start our day with rest and finish with work.

FURTHER THOUGHT:  Exodus 10: 21 says that the darkness could be felt!  #6205 in the Hebrew part of Strong’s is used for “thick” darkness.  What would that feel like? Describe what that would mean to you.

∞Father, thank you for the dark times and the light times.  Help us to use them to know and spread Your Word. 

Light and Dark #2 – Darkness

The opposite of light, misery, shadow, a covering, all of these and more thoughts use darkness as a descriptor. DARKNESS, in most sermons, is a bad thing and is usually anti-God.  The problem with this thought is God created darkness and uses it for His purposes.  It is, however, associated with the devil and evil, negative things, so carefully read the verse and the context. 

By my count, there are fifteen words in the Old and New Testament for the word darkness. There are other words for dark and night.  Job has the most references to darkness and is where darkness becomes/is a negative thing. Most references in Genesis to Deuteronomy on darkness are not negative or evil but refer to what surrounds God.

Exodus 20:21 (NIV) – The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.  This idea is used several times to tell us that God hid from the people/us in darkness.  In the Strong’s that word is #6205 and is translated for us as thick darkness.  # 2822 is frequently the word used for darkness because of how it is used in verses; it can carry negative connotations. My thought on why God would hide in darkness is because of the unapproachable light He lives in. (See the other post that is listed in Light and Dark)

Genesis 1:2 uses #2822 for darkness.  (This post is not for a commentary on Creationism.)  The BIG point I want to make is God started with darkness!  He then called for LIGHT and separated them.  (I will use this idea in the following post.)  This verse can take a different direction if you put in the other thoughts associated with darkness.  

In Genesis 1: 4, 6, 7, 14 the NIV uses the word separate, KJV can use the word divide.  In the Strong’s it is number #914.  This word, to me, is a serious word. It is used about Aaron and his family and how they were to be different than the other Israelites.  To divide light and dark, day and night is a very clear separation.

FURTHER STUDY: Use a concordance to compare the three different words for “darkness” that is used in Job 10.

The Bible and Science – Light and Dark

Job 38: 19 – 20 (NIV)

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

Light and darkness! Two themes that are used frequently in the Bible.  I have written eight posts in this series on light (I will link them below.) but none on the two of them.  As I write this the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays will start in just a few days.  Our community has a “Festival of Lights” that they will begin soon.  Many religions have a time when they celebrate LIGHT. As Christians, we know that the light is Jesus.  The Apostle John starts his Gospel and 1 John with that thought – Jesus is the Light. John also warns about walking/fellowshipping with darkness.

In the passage, God is questioning Job and verses 19 and 20 contain questions 12 – 15 (Yes, I numbered God’s questions, by my count, there are 68 of them in the NIV.). The imagery is awesome!  God has a place/room where He keeps true light and true dark.  Now, we could conclude that the question is about day and night, but what if there is a room where “real” light and dark are stored.  Our day and night are just part of the “Shadowland” version of light and dark. (Shadowland is a C. S. Lewis concept.)  Okay back to my thought.

I will not presume to answer God’s question but our night is earth’s shadow.  Earth is the cause of our night.

  • Father, thank you for the times we have to rest.  May we not live in the shadow of earthly things but always walk in the LIGHT.

Other post about light:

Lighthttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/02/the-bible-and-science-light/

Light #2 https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/13/the-bible-and-science-light-2/

Light #3https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/27/the-bible-and-science-light-3/

Infraredhttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/03/02/the-bible-and-science-infrared-light/

Lightninghttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/12/29/lightning-consider-gods-wonders/

Lightning #2 https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/12/31/lightning-2-the-bible-and-science/

Lightning Then Thunderhttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2014/01/22/lightning-then-thunder-the-bible-and-science/

Following the Lighthttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2018/03/10/following-the-light/

A Comparison of Thoughts on the Order of the New Testament

This comparison started out as a search about Titus.  I was curious about his physical locations and how they corresponded to Paul’s life and his writings.

Every resource that I list will tell you these are approximations, as we are not sure of their order or dates when they were written. Few sites offer why they put them in that order but they seem close. 

The graphs are pictures so the links do not work.  A Google search on the order of the New Testament will give you these and many others.  

I do like the bible-history site even though they seem to have left out Luke and Jude.  They place the Books in context with history.