Psalm 139, which includes the familiar, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” is a beautiful song/poem written by the ancient Jewish king, David.
In verses 11-12, David is contemplating the impossibility of escaping from God’s love, care and sight. Using darkness and light as metaphors, he writes,…
“I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”
Put your mind on “pause” for just a moment and think that through.
To God, there is no darkness. None. Not even a shadow. Anywhere.
And don’t mistake what David is saying for God owning a pair of really cool “night vision” goggles. That’s not the meaning of the text. What David is doing his best to communicate in limited human language is that everything – every human body, thought, action; every atom, every quark, every nebula, star, etc. is fully exposed in God’s sight.
This is, as are all attributes of God, well beyond mere human logic, reason and intellect. (By the way, keep in mind that the existence of God doesn’t go against reason, but simply goes beyond reason. There is a difference.)
1) Jesus (God in flesh) referred to himself, among other metaphors, as the “light of the world.”
Darkness has been defined in philosophical circles as “the absence of light.”
God is 100%, pure, terrifying, holy light.
God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light. (1 Timothy 6:15-16)
Nothing is beyond his notice. As Paul warned,
“But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,…” Ephesians 5:13)
Further, expounding on this theme, Matthew, quoting Isaiah, wrote, “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light…”. John wrote, “God is light. In him there is no darkness at all,” and “The light shines in the darkness; and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
Simply put, when Jesus entered time and space, flooding earth with holy illumination, the cockroaches scattered. And Satan’s been scrambling ever since.
2) Because of the biblical truth above, we have hope. And that changes everything.
Whether it be hurricanes, wildfires, broken relationships, mental illness, the pain of loss, etc., – because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb – the Light has “overwhelmingly conquered.”
Recently, I toured Marvel Cave in Missouri. At one point in the tour, the guide turned out the lights with the only source of light being a small candle. What struck me was not how dark it was, but how much light that small candle provided in pitch-black, suffocating darkness. I was reminded of a biblical truth: even the smallest light can dispel the greatest, thickest darkness.
When Satan attacks you with pain (either physical or emotional) remember that God has provided for us a light with “infinite lumens”: Himself.
And he has revealed himself to us through his powerful Word.
…which is why David wrote: “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick