The story of Saul in Acts 9 has two instances of dark and light. Jesus had to end one case of darkness to ready him for the second. Saul’s first darkness was in his thinking, it bound him in the Law. Since he was an up-and-coming star in Judaism, it is probable that he had heard Jesus teach and was one of the many messengers sent to trick Jesus. It is also very likely that Saul was part of the council that sent Jesus to the cross. The light to this darkness is in verse three, it knocked him to the ground. You have to wonder just what he saw as he talked to Jesus?
Saul/Paul’s second dark and light cycle began when he got up from the ground. He opened his eyes and “could see nothing”. That is frightening! (I had that experience due to an eye infection. I just washed my eyes and could see again.) The last thing he saw, for three days, was Jesus in His glory. (TD Jakes has said that he (eyes) may have never recovered from this, but he now had spiritual vision.) Saul went from spiritual and physical darkness to seeing the Light, or from no light to knowing the Light!
Three– Saul’s three was “three days”. He did not eat or drink during this time and the answer to his prayers was – Ananias, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and baptism.
End and Start – Here are some of the things that ended and started.
- Saul -> Paul
- The Law went to Grace. Yes, he stilled honored the traditions of his youth but was not bound to them.
- The hunter became a herald.
- Knowing the Law was replaced with knowing the Law-giver.
FURTHER THOUGHT– Since you have been saved, what is one thing that Jesus showed you that caused a change in how you lived.
This verse would have been in the list of the FURTHER THOUGHT from Genesis 15. The story is Solomon dedicating the Temple of God that his father David had wanted to build. Father God shows up in a cloud and envelops the Temple chasing the priest out. In verse 12 Solomon states that “God would dwell in a dark cloud”. Verse 10 is where the cloud (dark) filled the temple and verse 11 states the Glory (light) caused the priest to leave.
The Most Holy Place was always dark and the only light that penetrated the area was when the High Priest entered once a year to burn incense. This is a connection to the Christmas story – Zechariah was doing this when he saw the angel Gabriel.
Three– The time stamp in verse 2 provided my “three”. Okay, this may be a stretch but! The feast in the seventh month (Leviticus 23: 23 – 44) was the third set of feasts that Israel was to observe – Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are the first set and Pentecost is the second. I would think this feast was the Day of Atonement. It would be followed by Tabernacles, which is mentioned in verse 65. Everyone had such a blessed time they lived in booths for seven more days. These feast mirror events in Exodus that were to be remembered.
End and Start–This day marked the end of God “living in a tent” and now started the “grand house that was built” to replace a wandering Tabernacle. (Writer’s Note – There is more in this end/start, I am just not getting it!) This resembles the change in the Exodus when the Ark/Tabernacle was built. God was in the Pillar of cloud and fire and He allowed the Ark to be built. Just like that shift, this also changes the focus of the people to a building instead of a tent. So, did they get closer to God or to an object to represent Him?
FURTHER THOUGHT – Compare Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings to Jeremiah) to Ezra’s/Herod’s Temple – Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah to when the Romans destroyed it. http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1547120461/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Solomon_Clipart/Solomon002.jpg
Light and Dark– Genesis 15
As I have read this chapter I get the idea that this may be more than one day! But I will start in verse 12 with the phrase “as the sun was setting”. So, it was not dark yet! Abram fell into a sleep, a deep sleep. The next phrase and/or idea is associated with God several times “thick and dreadful darkness”. (NIV) Not only is it at night but God adds darkness. Verse 17 continues with physical darkness and another light the “firepot and torch” they are a symbol of God’s presence. All of this ceremony was the making of the covenant between God and Abram. This indicates a deeper relationship between the two parties.
Three– We have a heifer, a goat, and a ram each three years old. Yes, there were two birds also. These are most of the animals that would make up the sacrifices under the Law.
End and Start – Enoch and Noah were the last two men that we are told God communicated/fellowshipped with. So, God started a new era in His dealings with man and ended a period of silence. Other thought could be He ended His search for a people to make His own and started a journey with Abram.
FURTHER THOUGHT– Use a concordance or Bible Gateway and find the references of darkness associated with God.
Light and Dark– Exodus 10
Dark and light here are part of the plagues before Passover. In Wonders that Plagued Egypt and Reflections on Judgement I cover some of the plagues but there is so much to learn and see. In studying this time, I noticed that Moses was directed to confront Pharaoh early in the morning. This darkness was special – it could be felt! Ra, their sun god, had bowed before the God of Israel. (I have been in dark places that set your nerves on edge, but I have never felt darkness.) When Moses started asking for physical possessions I am sure Egypt was ready to give them anything to get rid of the People.
Three– It stayed dark for three days. These three days speak to the time Jesus was in the grave. I hope that I am not squeezing this to fit my ideas, but you need to think before these days fit into the tomb. Israel was in the light, Egypt was in darkness. Jesus was in His glorified body walking through hell getting the keys back, the disciples were in the “dark” about what really happened to Jesus!
End and Start – There are several things that are happening here, so there are multiple endings and starts. I see this as God ending His “playing nice” with Pharaoh. I think the people of Egypt had had enough and wanted the People gone. What started was God’s direct attack on Pharaoh and his son. Ra was the sun god and major deity for Egypt, and the pharaoh was his son and physical form on earth. It is also the second time (? – the plague of gnats 8: 16) that God did not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh to warn him of what was coming. Pharaoh had to call for Moses, then he was warned of the last plague. (Khepri was the gnat god and the god of creation, moving the sun, and rebirth.) Slavery was ending and freedom about to begin. Worshipping Egypt ended and worshipping Jehovah was beginning.
FURTHER THOUGHT– What gods do you need to leave in the dark so you can live, better, in the light of Jesus.
Light and Dark – A Pattern to Explore
A pattern that has become plain in studying light and dark is that God starts with dark and moves to light. Another ingredient present in many of my examples is “three”, three of something makes up part of the story. I have taken this as a reminder of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (A note to myself and the reader – It is Jesus that is important, not the pattern.) Also, these vignettes may mark the “end and start” of something.
The most enduring of the examples is “day”. By God’s timekeeping day starts at dark and ends with the light of the afternoon. (See Time)
Genesis 1 and John 1
In the beginning there was dark and God spoke for light to appear. I listed John 1 because it puts Jesus in the Genesis 1 story with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (See Light and Dark #2) Please, for a moment put aside your thoughts on Creation and join the Father on this remarkable stage.
Three– The Trinity is above a blank, water-covered, darkened world. The Spirit, the breath of God, is waiting to trouble the waters. The Father turns to Jesus, “Become the Light of the world.” The Spirit exhales as Jesus radiates a blinding brilliance. Darkness, spiritual and physical, bow and retreat from the glory. This picture shares things with Day of Pentecost – the wind and flames appearing (light).
End and Start– Genesis 1 marks the start of our age. What had ended, we are not told, but there was a dark water-covered world.
FURTHER THOUGHT – Write your “dark to light” experience. It may be your testimony.