One of my professors had us do an interesting exercise last fall. She had us read Genesis 1:1-5 and answer the fundamental question that every person should ask when reading the Bible: What does this passage teach me about God?” I’ve copied the passage here for your convenience.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
We got some great answers. But as the activity went on, I got distracted by verses 3,4,and 5. In these verses, God creates light amid darkness, pronounces the light good, separates the two and names them both. It struck me as odd though, that throughout all of that, He did not destroy the darkness. Why?
God is not a man bound by constraints like us. He was not trying to be frugal or eco-friendly by using some leftover by-product that He had from making light. If He wanted to get rid of darkness entirely, He certainly could have. Instead, He descends into this formless chaos, makes spectacular light and then takes on the challenge of repurposing the thing that most of us would consider useless and unwanted, even ugly. He redeemed it.
We too face darkness in this world. And boy have the last few weeks driven that point home. Our vulnerability to darkness has been shown in undeniable clarity. Personally I have felt like I was in the deep mentioned in verse 2. Only instead of hovering over it like the Spirit of God, I was struggling to keep my head above the water. I am not going to lie. The darkness frightened me because it exposed my helplessness. As a sinner, it resides in my DNA. And every time I have tried to contain it, rebuke it, control it, or better yet banish it, I have failed to overcome it. On my own, darkness will either destroy me or I will destroy myself.
In the face of that darkness, God reminded me of this passage. He reminded me that He, the King of Glory, has already conquered darkness. I need not endlessly struggle with a foe that He has beaten. I need not let fear of the dark dictate my behavior. I need only bring to Him the darkness that is in and around me and watch Him do what only He can do. Friends, as we face this darkness together, let us remember that our God is not afraid of the dark.