We have talked about so much concerning the Christmas story. There is a lot of history involved. Jesus comes in the midst of history, not outside it. He speaks words that are relevant to that generation, just as they are relevant to this generation.
So, lets go ahead and start talking about the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. As far as I can see, it starts in Genesis chapter 1…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
In these 5 verses we have tons of information packed away. What I want to focus on is the idea of God creating out of darkness and chaos. Without getting into the debate of whether there was really darkness and sin before the creation, lets just look at the symbolism itself. I think we all understand darkness. I think we all understand “formless and empty.” This is the state of being that we suffer before God comes into our lives.
From the beginning of the creation God works as a community (creator, spirit, word) to bring forth order and light. Right in the beginning of the Bible God seems to display that He judged darkness. When chaos and darkness was at one point in time allowed the freedom to rule and reign as it desired, God limited the darkness to only being allowed to flaunt itself during the night.
God separated the light and the darkness so that it was clear what was right and wrong. It is obvious: light and dark; black and white. There isn’t a gray area with God. There is the way of God: light. There is the way that is separate from God: dark.
Now God limited the darkness to the night. We see later in verse 14 that God also created the sun, moon, and stars of heaven to shine light in the darkness. Darkness is now not only limited, but contained. There are watchmen over it. The sun, moon, and stars are to shine in the darkness and keep the darkness detained. It is not allowed to seep into the creation beyond a certain point.
Maybe this is why Isaiah writes about the sun and moon being confounded and ashamed (Isaiah 24:23). At the end of the world, they feel at fault for letting darkness come into the creation. Of course this is personification. Yet, God says the ground cried out to Him when the blood of Abel touched it. It is poetic and metaphoric, yet still speaking of something real and tangible. The moon and the sun were supposed to be guardians. They were supposed to keep the darkness from coming into the creation. But the beast and false prophet arise. When we read Revelation, it almost seems like the very elements being used to create the idols and false gods protest and cry out against being abused by the beast. I can’t help but read about volcanoes and earthquakes and great winds (whether tornadoes or hurricanes). The earth itself cries out in protest to such ungodliness as the antichrist produces.
This is the battle between light and dark. Either we are light and not dark, or we aren’t light at all. There cannot be a mixture. Any amount of darkness proves the failure of light. Light is cast into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. We’re talking about character and blamelessness. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little darkness proves the absence of light. Darkness is stagnant; light is moving. Light pierces the darkness. If there is light then darkness cannot remain.
This is also why Jesus talks to Nicodemus about light and dark. The condemnation of the world is that they rejected the light and clung to darkness. It sounds like Hell is something that is experienced now. Yet it is also experienced later. It is both now and later.
When God finished His 7 days of creation He proclaimed that everything is good. Darkness has been judged. Though it is still around, it is contained. This is why Adam’s sin is so catastrophic. It was cosmic. It isn’t that Adam’s sin brought depravity to mankind; Adam’s sin brought darkness into the creation. He mingled the darkness with the light. He gave way to the darkness to overcome the light.
By one man sin has entered the world. We would be foolish to think that sin is only a right and wrong list. Sin is a condition that binds us to death and deceives us into believing that Hell is the only way. It is blinding. Even in the natural, if you stare into complete darkness long enough you will become blind. Sin is that condition that cannot be overcome without the blood of Christ. We cannot truly be free without the blood of God’s only begotten Son. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed – or He hasn’t set us free.
If we skip ahead to Revelation, we find that the last two chapters are about the new heaven and new earth. Most of us would call this heaven. God emphasizes that there is no darkness and no night. Darkness had been judged in the beginning and confined to being ruled over by the sun, moon, and stars, but at the end of it all darkness is judged entirely. There is no more darkness. God abolishes it.
What we experience here in this point of time is between Adam’s sin and darkness being condemned. Why is there violence in the world if Jesus came to bring peace? There is violence because there is still darkness. We are to be children of the light; light bearers. We are to shine in the darkness. This means combat with Satan and his kingdom of darkness.
Lets talk more about that next time. We’ll get into Ephesians and talk about the story of redemption and how it pertains to you and me from Ephesians 1, and then maybe we can try and tackle a little bit more from this spiritual battle that we face.