Every time I read a familiar passage in the Bible, I sense a deeper meaning underlying the text. Not that I’m stretching to find it, but that it’s stretching to find me, and that God originally intended it to be understood.
The passage that jumped out at me this morning was Genesis 1:3-7, where God “saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
The statement “God saw the light, that it was good” implies that the darkness was not good. The deeper implication is that, from the start, God was creating an environment that itself would communicate truth and prevent good and bad from being mistaken for each other.
It’s been said that we can learn about God through nature. We tend to see that as an invitation to exercise our human creativity. We look at nature and, through the brilliant workings of our minds, derive object lessons and stories that communicate what we perceive to be true.
But is that how it really works?
Genesis 1 seems to indicate that nature doesn’t just incidentally communicate truth; it was designed to do so. God’s creation speaks, not our creativity.
The second message in Genesis 1 is that some things are good, and some things are bad, and they do not mix. And the reason they do not mix is that God Himself divides them.
Remarkably, it is that dividing that makes it possible for us to see anything at all. Examine a photograph. It is nothing more than a unique, sharp division of darkness and light. Even gray can be divided into dark and light pixels. They co-exist, but they do not mix.
It seems simple, but the implications are huge and profound. First, we may desire what is good, and wish to avoid what is bad, but in reality we’re powerless to make that kind of division for ourselves. Only God can do the dividing—in the world and in us. That should raise our estimation of how much we need Him.
Second, no matter how much leeway the devil has to practice his deceptions, he must do so in an environment that literally communicates truth right down to the molecular level. We may ignore it at our peril, but the devil cannot escape it. How he must loathe being constrained to functioning as a screaming liar in an environment that consistently whispers truth by virtue of its very existence. And how thrilled he must be that people, more often than not, embrace the screaming lies rather than the whispers of truth.
The up or downside to this, depending on how you look at it, is that no one will ever have a good excuse for missing it in the end. Truth is lovingly woven into the fabric of our existence.
And if you read the whole story, it’s clear that someday the dividing will be complete. Darkness and light will no longer co-exist like pixels making up the gray.
There will only be light.