Before The Light
Darkness can be defined as "an absence of light." Since "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5 RSV), it's natural that the physical creation (see The Seven Days Of Creation) began with the displacement of darkness: "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving 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, one day." (Genesis 1:2-5 RSV)
Darkness is referred to widely throughout the Old and New Testaments, literally and figuratively, in past events of Bible History, and in coming events of Prophecy:
- "Then The Lord [see Rock Of Ages and The Logos] said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; they did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days; but all the people of Israel had light where they dwelt." (Exodus 10:21-23 RSV) (see The Ten Plagues)
"If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness, if I say to the pit, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother,' or 'My sister,' where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?" (Job 17:13-16 RSV) (see What Happens When You Die?)
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken [see Signs In The Heavens]; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming [see The Return Of Jesus Christ] on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30 RSV)
- "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." (Isaiah 9:2 RSV) (see The Elect)
- "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." (Ephesians 5:11-14 RSV) (see Glass Houses)
- "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble." (Proverbs 4:18-19 RSV)
Fact Finder: Did darkness come over the land as Jesus Christ was dying on the cross?
Note: the "sixth to the ninth hour" of the Biblical day is the equivalent of noon to 3 pm
This Week's Bible Quiz
What is the name of the missing place? (Revised Standard Version)
1. "an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and His mother, and flee to _______"
2. "Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in _______ and in all that region who were two years old or under"
3. "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the _______ to John, to be baptized by him"
4. "As He walked by the Sea of _______, He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen"
5. "Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in _______ and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes"
6. "The queen of the _______ will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here"
7. "And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of _______"
8. "And Jesus entered the _______ of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the _______, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons."
9. "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, let the reader understand, then let those who are in _______ flee to the mountains"
10. "And when they came to a place called _______, which means the place of a skull, they offered Him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when He tasted it, He would not drink it."
For the answers to this June 10 2003 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page