“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 1:4,5
In 1964 two scientists working for Bell Laboratories made an accidental discovery. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were testing equipment and were surprised by static coming through the radio receiver of the Holmdel Horn Antenna. The static was caused by radiation traveling in waves of heat and light coming from every direction of the universe. The earth is literally bathed in this invisible glow.
More recent discoveries have revealed that the visible matter of stars, planets and galaxies make up less than 5% of the universe. What we cannot see is the remaining 95% which is composed of what scientists are now calling “dark energy” and “dark matter.” We’ll learn more about that later, but for now just think about the fact that what we humans perceive as darkness, may not be just darkness after all! Scientists still have much to discover about all those black areas in our night sky but the Psalmist declares that even darkness is as bright as day to God.
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:11,12
Whatever the darkness is, and however bright it may be for God, the first thing He did after creating the light was to separate the two. This distinction between light and darkness immediately becomes a major theme in the redemption story. Throughout the Old Testament the prophets foretold of a coming light. It should come as no surprise then that when Jesus began His ministry in Matthew 4:16, He quotes one of those prophets saying,
“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
But in John 3:19-21, we read that even though the light had come into the world the people loved the darkness more.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
The apostles carried on this theme with Paul arguing in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “What fellowship has light with darkness?” The answer is rhetorical and is rooted in the Genesis account of creation. “None!” From the beginning God separated the light from darkness and therefore, for God’s people, the distinction remains. And just listen to 1 Peter 2:9,10.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Isn’t THAT the difference between darkness and light, right there? Because my deeds were evil, I loved the darkness, rather than the light. But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love which which He loved me, even when I was dead in my trespasses, dwelling in darkness and the shadow of death, made me alive in Christ and caused His light to shine in my heart. On me, a light has dawned. Has it dawned on you friend? Do you know the riches of God’s mercy? Have you experienced that First Day in your own heart? I already referenced John 3:19-21, but do you know the truth of John 3:16?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
To believe in Jesus Christ is to have received mercy, to be called out of darkness and into His marvelous light, to become one of His own people that you might now proclaim the excellencies of the God of The First Day.