“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."- John 1:5
This past Monday's total solar eclipse better known as "The Great American Eclipse" infected many with a strong case of Eclipse Fever. The anticipation of this astronomical phenomenon sent people into a collective frenzy with millions of internet searches tracking the best times and places to watch the eclipse; optimizing the experience with the purchase of special solar eclipse 3-D type glasses or going ol' school with a cereal box; I saw groups of employees standing outside their office building to have an eclipse viewing party; I even heard of a woman from South Carolina who gave birth that morning and named her daughter Eclipse (they were originally going to name her Violet). Talk about being totally captivated by the light show in the sky!
This week's eclipse has me thinking about the holy, awesome, and brilliant LIGHT from heaven that was gloriously displayed and supernaturally descended upon our world to open our eyes from the pervasive darkness that plagued and blinded humanity. The Scriptures shines truth to Jesus' arrival illuminating and transforming the present conditions and future destinies of all who would look up to His radiance and redemption!
Isaiah 9:2- "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
Isaiah 60:1-2- "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you."
John 1:9- "The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world."
John 8:12- "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
I John 2:8- "Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining."
As our nation has been captivated by what took place in the sky this week, we need to be captivated by the One who came from heaven, who through His ray of light broke the chains of darkness that once weighed down our minds, polluted our hearts, and muddied our paths. The shadow no longer hovers over us and the horizon is no longer gloomy. As Psalm 119:105 tells us, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet, a light on my path."
But unlike the eclipse of the solar variety that is a every so often, here today gone tomorrow type of event, the light of God continues to shine truth, continues to release strength, continues to disperse salvation, and continues to set prisoners free. As I think about this all-powerful, incomparable work I am reminded of three distinct areas the Light penetrates:
1) A Light that envelopes our world- As it was at the time of creation, at the time of Israel's exile, and at the time of waiting for the coming Messiah, the world was marked by darkness. As sin entered into our world it brought with it pain, sickness, strife, lack, and death. It cast a shadow over every border, every region, and every dwelling place. God's light was the only thing that could break through the barrier that man had allowed entrance of. Psalm 104:2 tells us, "The Lord wraps Himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent." I am thankful that the cloud covering of the world must give way to the Lord's banner of love!
2) A Light that enters the human heart- The epicenter of one's life and being, the heart, became the place of sin's operating center. From the entrance of sin at the hands of the First Adam, all mankind, for all-time would start life from a deficit, with a sin DNA, originating from the heart. Psalm 53:2-3 declares, "God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." It plagued all who would enter the world and none were immune (the youngest to the oldest, the sinner to the sincere) from its cravings and corruption. In the medical world a doctor may have a handful of medications to prescribe to address an illnesses and hope for a remedy; in the daily commute to work world, there are multiple routes offered that attempt to get one to their destination the shortest time; and in the parenting world there are many approaches and tactics used to get a child to obey without a tantrum. What a wonderful thing that God's love and light is the universal answer to the enormous problem of sin. II Corinthians 4:6 tells us, "For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ."
3) A Light that exposes and extinguishes the works of darkness-The adversary of our souls is the prince of darkness. The enemy operates in darkness, seeking to attack our blind spots and bring confusion to what lies ahead. He is constantly planting seeds of doubt, traps on the path, and allurements that numb our sense of faith, purity, and holy fear. We are to ask the Lord to show us His right paths, to expose the works of darkness, and to give us Holy Spirit strength to resist the devil, flee temptations, and stand firm in our faith. Ephesians 4:13 proclaims, "But everything exposed by the light becomes visible-- and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."