Darkness. This is a common fear of children, and of some adults. The interesting thing about darkness is that darkness is just the absence of light. If light is present, darkness is absent. If darkness is present, light is absent They are mutually exclusive.
Darkness is first mentioned in Genesis 1:2, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Therefore, before God intervened, darkness reigned. Eventually God acted and said, “Let there be light.” And there was light.
Later we see darkness appear in Exodus 10:21, where God is pouring out judgment upon the people of Egypt. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.’" This darkness acted as punishment towards Pharaoh for his rebellious and hard heart towards God.
We also see darkness mentioned frequently in the book of Psalms, one example is Psalm 143:3, “For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.”
Darkness is a common theme in the Bible. It is regularly used as a symbol of the absence of God. The truth of the matter is that after the Fall, humanity found themselves in spiritual darkness; separated from the God of “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) because of our rebellious and hard hearts towards God. It was the punishment for rejecting God. Whether we recognize it or not, we are walking in spiritual darkness.
Thankfully, because of God’s great love for us, He does not leave us in this darkness. Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.”
So what, or who, is this great light? Not surprisingly, the Bible clears this up. The verse in Isaiah 9 is quoted in Matthew 4:16-17, “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’"
Jesus is our light. He says so expressly in John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
For those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, their reality is that they sit in darkness, because God is absent in their life. Should they be afraid of this darkness? Absolutely. Without the light of Christ shining on your path, you will stumble. It is not a question of if; it is a question of when. If you continue to reject the Light of the World (Jesus), your eternal destiny is to be forever separated from God. Interestingly, Jesus calls this place outer darkness, “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:29-30).
This outer darkness has no end; it is eternal for the unbeliever. It is so overwhelming that it will produce weeping and gnashing of teeth, not just for a moment, but forever. This reality is not one that I wish upon anyone. I pray that everyone who reads this will cry out to the Light of Salvation and ask Him to shine into your heart today and give you the eyes to see His Beauty.