Within scripture, there are many ‘God is’ statements. These include ‘God is’, ‘God is love’, ‘God is spirit’, ‘God is good’, ‘God is worthy’, ‘God is high and lifted up’, and many others. These metaphoric declarations by God and about God give us insight into the nature of God.
Today, we are going to examine ‘God is Light’ and what this tells us about God.
By saying God is Light, scripture is giving us an invitation to look deep into the character of God. We are drawn into this glimpse of an attribute of God by observing light itself.
By asking the questions: what does light do, what does light accomplish, and what are the qualities of light. We can then infer if light does it, God does it. If light accomplishes it; God can accomplish it as well. Furthermore, if I can understand the qualities of light, I will begin to understand some of the qualities of God.’
God is light – what does that mean?
Before examining the concept, God is light and what this tells us about God, let’s start by looking at light itself.
I ask you to indulge me as I digress into my electrical engineering background. Scientists divide light into visible light and non-visible light and together this is called the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. Of the total spectrum, only 0.00035 percent is visible to the human eye.
EM radiation in the visible part of the spectrum is scattered off all the objects around us providing the information to our eyes that allows us to see.
On one side of the spectrum, there is infrared light, which, while too red for humans to see, is all around us and even radiated from our bodies.
Infrared cameras allow us to see this light emitted from people and warm-blooded animals.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is X-ray light, which is too blue for humans to see. X-rays can penetrate skin and muscles, allowing our bones to be seen. Visible and Non-visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum is continuous, without gaps, and infinite, going in both directions forever.
However, we only have the technology to utilize a finite portion of the spectrum.
All this technical jargon to explain that saying that God is Light is to say: that the One who is without end, who is mostly unseen, and who we cannot fully comprehend is like something that is infinite, less than 1% visible, and cannot be fully utilized. The following table provides us with a comparison of some of the known characteristics of light (with a lowercase ‘l’) to God.
|Only 0.00035% of what we know of is visible||Mostly unseen (Colossians 1:15)|
|Can only utilize a finite portion||Ways and thoughts are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Can do more than we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21)
What Does Light Symbolize in the Bible?
The Bible opens in Genesis 1:3 with God saying, “Let there be light” and closes with Revelation 22:5, “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
In Genesis, God who is light, speaks light into existence, sees that light exists, and declares that light is good.
Throughout scripture, light represents all that is good, all that is God. In scripture, light reveals what is hidden and shows us the way.
While darkness hides and causes us to stumble. Furthermore, light represents life and goodness while dark represents death and wickedness.
Most significantly scripture points out that the Darkness cannot overcome the Light. The Bible, the Word of God, is the source for the classic literary theme of good’s triumph over evil. And repeatedly portrays this victory in terms of light shining in the darkness.
God is Light Bible Verses
Here are just a few of the verses that directly include the concept of God being Light.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.(1 John 1:5)
His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.(Habakkuk 3:4)
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.”(John 8:12)
While I [Jesus] am in the world, I am the light of the world.(John 9:5)
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.(Revelation 22:5)
Personalizing God is Light
How important is it to know that God is light?
Since we have been created in the image of God knowing something about His image helps us to understand His desire for ourselves.
This information can transform our prayers. Knowing that God is light and there is no darkness in Him, invites us to pray along with David in Psalm 139, search me and know me, see if there is any wickedness in my heart.
Knowing that it is light that allows us to see, leads us to ask God to open our eyes to see as He (the perfect light) sees.
Understanding that we have technology that utilizes non-visible light for healing, gives us hope in our prayers to our non-visible God for healing and wholeness. Comprehending that Jesus came as Light into the world that was walking in darkness, should fill our prayers with requests for wisdom to likewise be light-bringers to a dark world.
Having a glimpse into this one aspect of God should overwhelm us with the desire to know Him more.
The Gospel of John opens with a poetic version of the creation story.
One of the overriding themes of these opening verses is that God as Jesus enters into the world as light. That in Jesus is life and that the life that is within Him is the true Light that the darkness cannot overcome.
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) John is declaring the very nature of God. He is not a light, He is not a kind of light, He is light itself and all light comes from Him. In the beginning, He created light (Genesis 1:3) and separated it from the darkness.
In John 1, Jesus is the true Light and the darkness cannot overcome it. Scripture identifies the separation of light and darkness as Light is everything that is God and Darkness represents everything that is not God. So then if we know that light reveals, light measures, light energizes, light heals; then we also know that these are the abilities of God.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. God is Light, God speaks light into existence, God comes into the world as the true Light, God is our Light.
As a Christian Life Coach, Elaine Goddard provides one-on-one personal prayer training and discipleship. She teaches her self-published prayer study Time to Pray, at several local churches and community groups.
Additionally, Elaine speaks locally about prayer at dinners, gatherings, and retreats. Elaine serves as a lay prayer leader at her local church and an online prayer devotional and prayer training at http://www.highway2Him.com. Elaine has recently had to draw deep on the One true resource during her recovery and rehab from a stroke.