The Wonder Of Light
June 11, 2019
The power and wisdom of God is mostly found in some of the things that we as people take for granted. There are many systems and processes in place that enable life to continue in our world the way that it does, but God is in charge of all of those things. Colossians Chapter 1 teaches about the preeminence of Jesus Christ as the Creator AND Sustainer of all things. He is highly exalted above all, because He is God in flesh; and as God in flesh, He is exercising His power, control, wisdom, and mercy to keep our planet functional. Jesus does this in spite of who we are and how we treat Him. Even Jesus’ own disciples denied Him during His trial, and yet Jesus surrendered Himself to the cross in order to die for their sins, just like anyone else. It probably isn’t often that we wake up in the morning and question whether gravity will hold us to the ground. It likely isn’t often that we wake up and wonder whether the seas will intrude on our plans today and swallow us into the deep. When we wake up for the day, we assume the sun will shine, even if it is hidden behind cloud cover. Even when the morning seems dark with fog or clouds, we know when its daytime because we assume the sun will continue to do what it’s been doing since the beginning. The LORD God Almighty is the reason that we can comfortably make those assumptions.
When God spoke directly to Job, these were the sorts of things that God reminded Job about in order to set Job in his place. God didn’t get philosophical with Job; He got practical. God didn’t approach Job with big words and deep concepts like some refined theologian; He spoke about the basics of His nature. When God saw that Job’s heart was growing discontent, self-righteous, and self-entitled because of his suffering, God manifested Himself in a whirlwind to speak to Job about the fundamentals of God’s identity and character. This is how the Lord checks and chastens those whom He loves. When Jesus addressed the influential church of Ephesus in the Book of Revelation, Jesus didn’t approach that church with a long oration about the distinctives of church life. Jesus recognized that, for all the good that the church was doing, they were losing sight of the basics, and simply told them to repent and get back to the things they did when they first came to faith. It is the basics, the fundamentals, the essentials of our faith that keep us in line with the Lord, because it is our remembrance of the basics of His power, wisdom, authority, and the manner in which He uses these things, that strikes fear and humility in our hearts. This is really all God is interested in.
In Job 38:12-15 God brought up the simple principle of morning daylight. Why can we be so confident that the sun will rise? Why can we anticipate bright mornings and seasons in predictable times? How are we able to make plans and schedules based on the common and constant work of the sun? When the Lord brought up the principle of morning time, He did so with an emphasis on the nature of light. God simply asked Job:
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?”
Here, God reminds Job of how little and insignificant he really is. Should someone so small approach the Lord with a sense of entitlement? For all of Job’s life, he woke each morning dependent on the Lord to cause the sun to rise. Never once did Job wake up and command the sun to rise or stand still so that the sun obeyed his command. If we want the sun to rise earlier to aid our plans, the sun doesn’t respond to our desires. If we want the sun to rise later to sleep in more comfortably, we are forced to cover our windows because we know that, no matter how much we desire the light to postpone, it won’t. The light of the sun comes out according to the commands and ordination of the Almighty Creator. Never once has a person given the sun an order, and caused the sun to obey.
Still, this is not the totality of God’s point. Recall that in Genesis Chapter 1, God caused light to shine in the morning for three days before He created the sun, moon, and stars! God doesn’t need the sun to cause morning. God isn’t dependent on anything to cause light. As Jesus said in the Gospel of John, He is the Light of the world. He is the means by which we have daylight. He is the means by which we are able to escape darkness. Jesus is the cause for which we have sunshine after the time of darkness in the night. If not for the manifestation of God’s glory as “light,” then the world would have remained in its original condition before He said, “let there be light” – in darkness and chaos.
How do we explain light? Sure, there are scientific principles that try to explain how we examine light, but none of these principles explain the cause of light. We are taught that morning comes because of the rotation of earth around the sun, but again, morning came in the beginning for three whole days before there was a sun for the planet to circle. Many people who can’t explain it, simply chalk it up to fairy tale. Thus, it is clear that, for all that people think they know, it doesn’t compare to that which we don’t know or understand. We are ignorant about far more than that which we know. The basic principle of “light” and the source of it is something that boggles the human mind, yet it is a fundamental principle of God’s nature. It was the first thing He did by speaking four simple words on the first day. With such a great disparity in human wisdom compared to God’s, how can we criticize God’s work and approach Him with entitlement?
God not only caused light to manifest, but He made it so that light as we know it, understands how to function for our benefit. Light knows its place. Light knows when to shine on one part of the earth, while hiding from another part of the earth. Light knows where to shine, for how long, and at the proper intensity. We are able to predict seasons because light knows God’s purposes and obeys. We are able to set time and schedules because of the wisdom God imparted to light. The sun comes up and goes down in a regular cycle that we can calculate. God is the Author of that cycle. What if light were to shine brighter on our world? Would we be able to stay alive? Would vegetation be able to grow? What if light didn’t shine as brightly? According to God, the light of the world is just right because He caused light to know its place, and this wisdom has been for the benefit of the human race. When we take these simple things into consideration, should we despise God’s ways? Should we question His methods and wisdom?
The testimony of Job 38:12-15 shows that God didn’t just provide light so that we can see and have heat. God had purposes for light that manifest His justice and righteousness too. There is a basic principle to unrighteousness and evil that has been common throughout history. Evil prefers darkness, and the conspiracies of wickedness strengthen at night. Crime is typically a night thing. When it gets dark, it’s easier to hide and conceal that which is wrong, and so it has always been common for evil to take advantage of the time when the sun is down to commit their injustices. Thankfully, God made it so that the rising of the sun limits the amount of wickedness that can take place. Even when the sun isn’t shining at full strength, the dawning of morning is bright enough to send criminals and evil people into retreat for a time. What if the sun didn’t come out as it does and it remained dark like night for the whole day? What if God didn’t provide light so that evil could remain concealed at all times? If we think the world is a difficult place now because of the evil in it, how much worse would it be without the time of sunlight that causes evil to retire for moments throughout the day?
God reminded Job that His command and authority over light is effective to create life, sustain life, and also regulate life. God explained that He uses light to shake the wicked out of their works. This happens fundamentally on a daily basis as many criminal activities disperse in the morning. Yet, God was also speaking more spiritually about His righteous judgments in the end. It will be Jesus, the Light of the world, that exposes all darkness unto their shame and condemnation. No evil will be hidden to escape His punishment. When Jesus reveals Himself in full glory, darkness will have no place in the recreation of heaven, earth, and the new Jerusalem. God will shake wickedness with the command of light when Jesus shakes the heavens in His wrath against sin in the world. God reminded Job that His authority over the simple matters of light in our world are like clay that is imprinted by a seal. When a seal is pressed into the clay, the clay spreads out and takes the form of the seal. Likewise, when God impresses His authority over the light in our world, it spreads out to take the form of His purpose according to His control. What person in human history can boast of such a thing? Should we then criticize God, questioning whether His works in the world are right or wrong?
Though we struggle to understand the nature of light, the characteristics of light, and the source of light in our universe, God says that He controls light as if it is an article of clothing that He uses to dress our planet! As simply as we might grab a shirt to dress ourselves every morning, God takes light to clothe our planet to ensure it is properly covered to do its job. Since God is the controller and administrator of light, He is able to provide light for some and withhold it from others. Again, speaking more spiritually, God reminded Job that He is the One that administrates light as righteousness. It is His nature as light that is able to properly and adequately clothe the wicked with His righteousness through forgiveness. This “clothing” comes in the form of “white robes” and Jesus is the sole place to receive this clothing. Without this spiritual clothing, darkness remains, and the natural glory of the Lord will consume those who refuse to depend on the Lord and humble themselves before Him by faith.
It is not often that the human mind begins the day considering these basic thoughts about God’s sovereignty and wisdom. We might embrace the beauty of a day, or despise the darkness of a morning, but still fail to recognize God as the cause. When we enjoy the sunshine of the morning, do we thank God, considering His supreme control and wisdom to produce such beauty? Do we consider how many beautiful days God has provided since the beginning? It’s not like the beauty of today is God’s first success. When the day is gloomy and inconvenient to our plans, do we consider the God who made it that way, wondering what His purposes might be? Job let his suffering distract him from remembering the basic things about God that go back to Genesis 1:3. When we can explain and reproduce the work that God did when He plainly said, “Let there be light,” then we have right to plead our case with entitlement. Until then, we should remember to humble ourselves before the mighty and sovereign hand of God, submitting to His purposes by faith.