Gen 1:3 (NIV) And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Gen 3:8 (NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Dallas Willard: "Almost all evil deeds and intents are begun with the thought that they can be hidden by deceit." Sin thrives in an evironment of darkness, lies and secrets. Thus, for all it's fearsome appearance, the kingdom of evil is structurally very weak. Turn on the light, and the cockroaches scramble to go under the refrigerator. Pull one string, and the whole unravels.
Sin Grows In The Dark
Job 24:13,15,17 (NIV) "There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths... The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, 'No eye will see me,' and he keeps his face concealed... For all of them, deep darkness is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness."
Isa 29:15-16 (NIV) Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?" You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!... Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing?"
Isa 28:15 (NIV) You boast, "... for we have made a lie our refuge, and falsehood our hiding place."
Ps 139:7,11-12 (NIV) Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me..." the night will shine like day....
Jer 23:24 (NIV) "Can anyone hide in the secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the Lord. "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord.
Jer 16:17 (NIV) "My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes."
Light As Judgment
The same light that makes plants grow hardens clay. The light is the same, but the response is completely different.
John 3:19-21 (Phi) "This is the judgment: that light has entered the world, and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But everybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God."
Secrets Are Temporary, You Can Count On The Light
Mat 10:26-27 (NIV) "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops."
Mark 4:22 (Jer) "For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light."
The Light Illuminates What?
Ps 90:8 (NIV) You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Job 12:22 (NIV) He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.
Job 28:11 (NIV) [God] ... brings hidden things to light.
Dan 2:22 (NIV) He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
1 Cor 4:5b (Phi) He will bring into the light of day all that at present is hidden in darkness, and he will expose the secret motives of men's hearts.
Stumbling In The Dark?
Imagine you are in a darkened room. In the room are grotesquely shaped sculptures, sharp objects hanging from the ceiling, piles of dung on the floor, and old furniture to stumble into. In the dark, it is possible to imagine that the room is really "O.K." But light would reveal an ugly scene indeed; and then there could be no more pretending! Wouldn't the truth to our "eye" be a better kind of pain than that of stumbling, groping around in such a room? With the light on, everything would be exposed; the room could be navigated without harm; it could be cleaned up; and there might also be things of value and beauty in the room that could be seen and used. If the light comes on, do we welcome the truth or rush to "turn it off;" do we receive it, even though it may hurt?Isa 59:9b-10a (NIV) We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes.
Job 12:25 (NIV) They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.
John 12:46 (NIV) "I [Jesus] have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
John 11:9-10 (Jer) Jesus replied, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling because he has the light of this world to see by; but if he walks at night, he stumbles, because there is no light to guide him."
Heb 4:12-13 (Phi) For the word that God speaks is alive and active; it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword; it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet, to the innermost intimacies of a man's being: it examines the very thoughts and motives of a man's heart. No creature has any cover from the sight of God; everything lies naked and exposed before the eyes of him with whom we have to deal.
John 12:35 (NIV) Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going."
Ps 32:5 (NIV) Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
1 Jn 2:9-11 (Phi) Anyone who claims to be "in the light" and hates his brother is, in fact, still in complete darkness. The man who loves his brother lives in the light and has no reason to stumble. But the man who hates his brother is shut off from the light and gropes his way in the dark without knowing where he is going. For darkness has made him blind.
The First Work Of The Holy Spirit
John 16:7b-9,12-13a (Phi) "For if I did not go away, the divine Helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convince the world of the meaning of sin, of true goodness, and of judgment. He will expose their sin because they do not believe in me."... "I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. Yet, when that one I have spoken of comes--the Spirit of truth--he will guide you into everything that is true."
Ps 69:5 (NIV) You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.
To get an alcoholic to admit his problem is half the solution. The rest is achieved through accountability groups like AA where the alcoholic must face his fellows and be truthful about his behavior. For all of us, moving into, and remaining in the light is the way of healing. In the light, we experience forgiveness, love, and fellowship. To reject the light is to reject God.1 Jn 1:5-10 (Phi) Here then is the message which we heard from him and now proclaim to you: GOD IS LIGHT and no shadow of darkness can exist in him. Consequently, if we were to say that we enjoyed fellowship with him and still went on living in darkness, we should be both telling and living a lie. But if we really are living in the light in which he eternally exists, then we have true fellowship with each other, and the blood which his son Jesus shed for us keeps us clean from all sin. If we refuse to admit that we are sinners, then we live in a world of illusion, and truth becomes a stranger to us. But if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find him reliable and just; he forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil. For if we say "we have not sinned," we are making him a liar and cut ourselves off from what he has to say to us.
James 5:16 (Phi) You should get in the habit of admitting your sins to each other and praying for each other, so that you may be healed....
The temptation is rather to reject the pain of conscience, the pain of the realization of our own sinfulness and imperfection. It seems better to just endure the pain of sin and avoid the light: the light of goodness that shows us up, the light of scrutiny that exposes us, the light of truth that penetrates our deception. So, we confess our sins to God in secret and ask for His forgiveness. And He will forgive us, but we will likely go out and do the same again in the vicious cycle of sin. For, in fact, we need more than forgiveness; we need healing. God's word is very clear as to what is needed if we wish to really break free.James 5:16 (NAS) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
James 5:16b (Wey) ... so that you may be cured.
Confession, Good For The Soul?
If God is light, we had better start getting used to Him. But, when we move into the light, it means that our deeds will be exposed. We must count the cost. He already knows, but now others will know as well. In God's light, pride melts like wax, and the impulse of the flesh is to run for cover. But, if we resist the temptation to "darken the light", then God will illuminate the weaknesses that we "stumble over". This is part of the "truth" that will "set us free".Ps 51:5-6,16-17 (NIV) [David:] Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place... You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are... a broken and contrite heart...
Prov 28:13 (NIV) He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Living In The Light
Luke 18:13-14 (NIV) "But the tax collector stood at a distance... and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man... went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Acts 19:18 (NIV) Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.
1 Tim 5:20 (NIV) Those [elders] who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning.
Rom 13:12 (Jer) The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon; let us give up the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light.
We Belong To The Day
1 Thes 5:5-8a (NIV) You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled.
Ps 119:105 (NIV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
2 Cor 4:2,6 (NIV) We have renounced secret and shameful ways... For God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Eph 5:8-14a (Phi) Once you were "darkness", but now as Christians you are "light". Live then as children of the light. The light produces in men all that is good and right and true. Let your lives be living proofs of the things which please God. Steer clear of the fruitless activities of darkness; let your lives expose their futility. (You know the sort of things I mean; to detail their secret doings is too shameful to mention.) For light is capable of showing everything for what it really is. It is even possible for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also.
2 Sam 22:29 (NIV) You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
Ps 27:1 (NIV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Mat 5:14-15 (Phi) "You are the world's light; it is impossible to hide a town built on top of a hill. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lampstand, and it gives light for everybody in the house."
Pr 4:18-19 (NIV) The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
John 8:12b (Jer) "I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life."
John 1:5 (Phi) The light still shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
Dan 12:3 (NIV) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
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