If you’ve watched the news, you’ve seen the fires that have ravaged Maui. I listened as one of the witnesses described the darkness as smoke overtook the island. People were afraid of the darkness of the smoke.
My favorite time of day is dawn when light erupts through the darkness. And there is a spiritual aspect to sunrises (Lamentations 3:22-25). The Bible warns us about darkness and what it represents.
When I was younger, I was taught nothing good happens after 9 PM. Youth pastors warned me about the darkness. There is a universal idea that darkness isn’t good.
As I write this, strong storms are rolling in and darkness is overtaking the morning. People fear what they cannot see due to darkness. I have even heard people near death who are drawn to the light because the light is good.
According to the Torah, God spoke and created the light and separated it from the darkness (Genesis 1:1-3). God Himself called the light “good,” which implies that the darkness is bad.
Judaism teaches that Satan, the once bright morning star, fell from heaven into the darkness (Isaiah 14: 12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-18), and ever since there has been a battle between the light and the darkness.
Judaism calls this battle Chanukah. The fight between light and darkness is physical and spiritual. For Israel, this battle manifested when the Greeks defiled the second Temple (139 BCE), instead of destroying it, they brought their worldly practices into the temple.
The Chanukah was fought to purify Israel of the darkness by the Maccabees (Jewish rebels) who fought back and purified the Temple so that they could light the Menorah. Judaism now celebrates this victory over darkness through Hanukah (celebration of light).
The menorah has lots of symbolism for God’s people, it’s a reminder of Israel’s victory over Greece, and it was originally found in the wilderness sanctuary (Exodus 25:31-40). It was designed by Moses to represent the seven days of creation and the light of God. It’s primarily used during Hanukkah for many reasons.
- Celebrate the Jewish victory of reclaiming the temple from the Greeks.
- A Hanukkah is lit each night of the holiday.
- Light represents goodness and the story of Genesis as God separated light and darkness on the first day of creation (Genesis: 1-1).
- The light of the Torah has guided Israel throughout its history, including many dark times.
- As a reminder, a small ray of light can overcome vast darkness.
Christianity also emphasizes only light can overcome darkness (John 1:5). Jesus called Himself the light and said His followers wouldn’t walk in the darkness (John 8:12) this is the second Adam referencing the beginning when God separated the light from the darkness.
Jesus called His followers the salt and light of the world and then sent them into the world to be the light amongst the darkness (Matthew 28:16-20). The Bible warns about those who parade as Angels of light, but aren’t (2 Corinthians 11:12-14).
Jesus taught His disciples about a time when one false saviors will appear and deceive God’s people (Matthew 24:11-24). Today some popular politicians claim they can save America, yet walk in darkness. However, as our Lord said we cannot walk in darkness and be in the light. We must recognize the works of darkness and avoid them.
For six years I lived in darkness, I’ve learned what the voice of Satan sounds like. We cannot love ourselves and the world and be the light (Ephesians 2:2, 1 John 2:15-17).