by Michael E. Brooks
“The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it” (Revelation 21:23-26 NKJV).
Nepal is experiencing severe energy shortages. There are extremely long lines at petrol stations, with low limits of fuel allowed to each vehicle. And there are several hours of electricity blackouts daily. One can expect 3 or 4 hours without current in the morning to early afternoon, and the same again from late afternoon to evening. It only takes a night or two of these blackouts for a visitor to realize how accustomed to and dependant upon constant light most of us have become.
The developed world at least has mostly forgotten about night. We live in constant light, either the natural light of the day, or artificial light during the night. We go where and when we choose, do whatever we want 24 hours per day. There are night shifts at work, night classes at school, and even lighted athletic fields and golf courses. We have spot lights, head lamps, night vision devices –- virtually any aid one can imagine to remove the inconvenience of darkness.
But turn off the power and dark returns. On average about half of the time any given spot on earth is dark. That is reality. So are the facts that darkness hampers activities, increases dangers, and awakens dread. Humans avoid, escape, and fear darkness.
All of that is only the physical world of darkness. Add the spiritual and emotional aspects of the subject and the negatives multiply greatly. Emotionally, darkness may suggest depression, pessimism, anger, hatred, and other negative thoughts. Spiritually, darkness simply represents sin and evil. It is right to fear and avoid darkness.
Against these there is the promise of eternal happiness in Heaven where there is no night and no darkness. There will be no blackouts. The people of Nepal can relate to that. There the redeemed will always be in perfect light. But that is not the end of the promise. There will also be no hatred or fear, nor any sin. Not any, ever! Darkness in all of its meanings will be abolished forever, because there all will be in the eternal presence of God the Father, and of his Son, Jesus. Their glory will provide perfect illumination forever.
John teaches, “…God is light and in him is no darkness at all … if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5,7). One does not need to wait until death and the resurrection to know the glory of God nor to be freed from the power of darkness. Though this darkness will not be eternally destroyed until the end of time, yet we may live in the light of his presence even now. We are only required to believe in Jesus and to walk in his light, that is by his commands.
The darkness of sin, fear, and guilt cannot prevail against those who trust in him and obey his will. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
by Michael E. Brooks