Light and Darkness

One of the best things about living at camp is that in between my weeks of working outdoor ed (a secular program), I can work with the Christian program on the weekend winter camps. These weekend programs are basically a shorter, colder version of what I’ve been doing at camp the past two summers. I love going into chapel and worshiping with the students.The speakers are often really good, too, and even though they are targeting the jr high/high school crowd, I’m surprised by how often something they say can hit me so hard.

Friday night in chapel the speaker was Kasey Myers from High Desert Church.  The program theme is Light, and he was speaking about light and darkness out of Genesis 1. All it took was one sentence for my mind to begin spinning.

“God did not create darkness.”

God created light, and darkness is merely the absence of light. Maybe that’s a “duh” for you, but to me, the implications of that are profound. I pretty much tuned out Kasey for the next five minutes and chased that idea down.

Here are the verses:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
(Genesis 1:2-5 ESV)

To me, it looks like this:

Nothing. Sheer nothing. No matter, no space, no dimensions, no vacuum. Utter lack of existence.

SOMETHING! Space and a great wet earth are created. (Still no stars or other planets yet till verse 14.)

But it is all so… very… DARK. Black. Cold and empty. The Spirit hovers over the ocean, as though running his fingers over a blank page. The entire universe is silent save for the gentle lapping of the waters as the wind brushes over them. Every spirit holds its breath, waiting for what the Spirit will do next.


LIGHT! Without warning, a great burning brilliance flashes over the horizon, overtaking the black waters and transforming them into a dazzling deep blue.

 And God saw that the Light was good.

Notice that the darkness was never called good. The darkness just was, before the light.

And the story continues:

God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

But God names the darkness. He did not create, it and he did not call it good. But he did give it a name.

What’s in a name? POWER.

God has power over the darkness and, not only that, but he uses it for his purposes. (Psalm 74:16, Jeremiah 33:20)

So if this is true of the natural darkness, might it also be true of evil? To recap:

God did not create or approve of darkness.

Darkness is the absence of light.

God has power over the darkness and still uses it for his purposes.

I don’t know about you, but this little sequence of thoughts blew my mind.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

1 John 1:5


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Craig
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:51:30

    No darkness, just light – nice…

    I came to your blog from Jon Acuff’s site. He has created a tremendous forum for sharing our blogs and impacting more people with them.

    I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

    I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!


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