The contrast of light and darkness is a prominent theme in Scripture. “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them” (Is 9:2). This well-known verse opens Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the coming Messiah. The darkness that covered the land prior to Christ’s coming will be swept aside by the light of His glory. The “great light” is the glory of the coming Messiah.
In the New Testament, the apostle John announced the coming of the Messiah in similar light and darkness language. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn 1:4-5). Jesus would later say of Himself, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).
The theme of light continues in the epistles. “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow” (Js 1:17). The context of this verse is James’ earlier explanation that God does not tempt us to evil because there is no evil within Him. God is not the author or purveyor of evil. Rather, according to this verse, God is the good Father; the giver of good gifts. And the promise that God is good, all the time, will never vary or change or shift.
Have you ever noticed that a flame does not cast a shadow? Try it with a match or your Scripto lighter. I was a skeptic when I first saw a picture of this phenomenon. So I took my lighter into Rhonda’s study and she shined a flashlight my way while I fired it up. Sure enough, the lighter (and my prominent nose) cast a shadow, but the flame did not. I thought it was a neat illustration of our heavenly Father, the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow.
God is illumined by His own light such that we can see and comprehend His perfect character, His essence of love, and His constant care over us. He is totally open in His relationship with us. There is no shadow. God has no hidden agenda. He is not lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce. God is not hiding, playing hard to get. The thought that His ways and character are beyond our understanding is an Old Covenant concept that faded away when we were infused with the mind of Christ (I Cor 2:13) and the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9).
Rather than lurking in the shadows, God’s light is shining like a laser beam right into your heart, right now. “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Cor 4:6). We see and experience the glory of God in the face of Christ. And that glory is lighting up your new heart; that clean soft shiny new heart you received at your salvation.
So run to the Light. Embrace the Light. Celebrate the Light. And come expecting to be received by the good Father, the giver of good gifts.