Light in the dark
“During all that time the people scarcely moved, for they could not see. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.“ – Exodus 10:23 NLT
Two more plagues. Two more opportunities for God to display His power. This time it would be locusts and darkness. Both would fill the land. The locusts would fill the land and cover the ground in such quantities that “the land was darkened” (Exodus 10:15 NASB). They consumed and destroyed. They ate everything in sight. What the hail had failed to destroy, the locusts did. And this plague seemed to get Pharaoh’s attention, at least for a while. But yet again, he refused to let the people go. Then God brought a darkness on the land. God described it as a “darkness which may be felt” (Exodus 10:21 NASB). “A darkness so dark you can touch it (The Message). This darkness would last three entire days. During that time no one could see anyone else. You could have held up your hand in front of your face and you would have seen nothing. All light was gone. It reminds me of the time I took our family to Carsbad Caverns in New Mexico. At one point in the tour, they take you into a cavernous room, then they turn out the lights. Suddenly you find yourself in an inky darkness that is totally devoid of any light source. You can’t see a thing. All perception is lost. Your eyes are incapable of penetrating the intense blackness that seems to enfold you. It was a very disconcerting feeling. But imagine that kind of darkness everywhere you look. Consider what it must have been like to find yourself immersed in complete darkness with no hope of seeing anyone or anything, no matter how hard you tried. There was no moon glow, no fire light, no lamps to provide even the slightest of light. And you had no idea of knowing when it would end. That would have been a terrifying experience. No one left his home. No one ventured out. Their Sun god, Ra, had failed them. He had been effectively destroyed by the God of Israel.
Yet, the Israelites had light in their dwellings. Moses records, “But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived” (Exodus 10:23 NLT). While the Egyptians, including Pharaoh himself, were immersed in darkness, the Israelites found themselves bathed in light. God provided for His own. He gave them light in the midst of the darkness. It reminds me of John chapter one where John describes Jesus in the following way: “Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:4-5 NLT). Jesus is the Light of the world. He came into the world to expose and eliminate the darkness in which men were living. But John goes on to tell us, “The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished” (John 3:19-20 NLT). What a picture this story in Exodus is of the fate of mankind. Men today live in complete darkness – the darkness of sin. They cannot see to do good. They are blind and incapable of saving themselves. They grope around in the dark trying to save themselves, but find it impossible. The darkness of this world is palpable, it can be felt. It is all around us. Yet, as believers we have the Light of life living within us. While others stumble about in darkness, we have our lives illuminated by the Light Himself. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12 NLT). No stumbling around in the dark. No sitting around in the pitch black stillness, incapable of even the simplest task. No, we have all the Light we need to live life abundantly and fully. In face, because we have the Light within us, we “are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see” (Matthew 5:14 N:T). Can the world see your light today?
Father, Your Son has lit up my life with His life. He has illuminated the darkness that once filled my life. Now let me shine for You. Let my life shine brightly in the midst of all the darkness that surrounds me. Thank You for giving me light so that I can see. Help me expose the darkness that fills the world and engulfs so many today. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men