Light and Darkness

I started back through Genesis today, and I decided to really devote myself to the principles of Scripture interpretation that I talk about all the time. It made for a very short but very pleasant reading of only a part of Genesis chapter one.

In its early days, the church taught that Jesus came to fulfill the Law in the sense of “expand” or “bring to fullness.”  The Law given to Moses was necessarily limited because it was given to a fleshly people, not a spiritual one. When Jesus came to change us, giving us a new heart and pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, then the Law could be brought to its fullness.

What does that mean?

Well, one of the things that it means is that when the Scriptures address split hooves and the chewing of cud, we can forget about pigs and cows. As Jesus said, nothing going into a man can defile him. The food God really cares about is his Word, for man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

If you wish to be clean, this is what you must partake of. You must fellowship with those who meditate on the Word of God and who separate from the world. (This tie between meditating on the Word and chewing the cud used to be well-known enough that the word “rumination” still means both things.)

Genesis One and the Creation

So when I opened to Genesis chapter one this morning, I was not looking for a step-by-step, scientific description of the creation of the world. I was looking for the things God really cares about … spiritual things.

The stage opens on this world with the Spirit of God hovering over the face of a massive sea. There is not emptiness. There is the Spirit of God hovering. God waited no time at all to begin his work. He has been watching and setting the stage from the very beginning.

On day one, the very first thing that God creates–though water already exists and, seemingly, a globe as well–is light. God separated the light from the darkness, and he called the light day and the darkness night.

Day and night and light and darkness are constantly used in Scripture to represent the conflict between God and satan and between knowledge and ignorance.

God set up this battle in the very beginning. The very first thing he created was the conflict between light and darkness. He made the light, and he saw that it was good. He doesn’t say the darkness is good. Nonetheless, he doesn’t banish the darkness. He keeps it. He separates it from the light, and he calls it night.

I learn from this that God meant for this earth to be a place of battle. There is a kingdom of light, which is the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and there is a domain of darkness. That is not an accident. God meant for that to happen. In fact, it was the very first thing he meant to happen. He created that battle on day one.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Evening and Morning

What else is interesting is that God created evening and morning the first day.

We Americans consider the day to start in the morning. A Jewish day, however, starts with sunset. The night is the first part of the day, and the day is the last part, pretty much opposite from us.

God set the day up to be evening first, daytime second.

This is because the light delivers from darkness. It is darkness that comes first, then the light comes to rescue us.

All of us began in the domain of darkness. We did not begin in the kingdom of God. We’re children of Adam first, and only after does Jesus Christ deliver us from the death of Adam to be children of life and light.

Well, that’s my take on day one. Hopefully, I’ll get day two up tomorrow. I hope God gives me something! Waters above and waters beneath? hmm …

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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2 Responses to Light and Darkness

  1. Shammah says:

    There’s several Scriptures backing up this idea of yours:

    2 Pet. 1:19: We have the word of prophecy made more certain. You would do well to give heed to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (my adaptation of KJV)

    Prov 4:18: The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday. (God’s Word Version)

  2. Dave C. says:

    I like the Jewish concept of day starting with darkness, because it aligns itself so well with our journey through life. We are born into sin and darkness in the beginning of our “day” and at some point along the way during our stumbling through the darkness we must decide to fall asleep, (die to our sinful dark lives) and be raised with Christ into the “morning” light and spend the rest of our “day” walking with Him in that light. I like that picture. Maybe that was why God had them start their day at sundown, to imprint that image on them.


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