These were the verses of the day on January 1 in my Bible app and at Bible Gateway. They are two of my favorite verses, and I like how they tie together. A new creation. A new thing. God is always doing something new. What will this new year bring?
I started reading Genesis at the start of this new year, seeing the creation account afresh. It struck me that after God created the heavens and the earth, while it was still formless and empty (before He would form and fill it), darkness covered the surface of the watery depths. The Spirit of God also hovered over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:2). God’s Spirit was there with the darkness, not afraid of it, but the all powerful Creator God did something about it:
Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:3-4
On other days of creation, the Bible says, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10, 11, 18, 21, 25) and “very good” on the 6th day (v. 31). But on this first day of creation, the Bible notes that the light was good (Genesis 1:4). Darkness was not declared good.
It’s also interesting that God starts with the light after creating the heavens and the earth. Jesus is the true light of the world. In a passage echoing back to Genesis 1, we see Jesus is the Word who was in the beginning, all things being made through Him, who is the light:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.John 1:1-5, 9
In the Bible, darkness is associated with dread, doom, distress, evil, foolishness, wickedness. (There are too many verses to list!) By contrast, the light is associated with Jesus, with life, with truth, with blessing.
We see this distinction between light and dark right away in the Bible. And yet the Spirit of God was present, and God initiated this work of creating light and separating it from the dark. Right from the start, God was the protagonist, the key actor in the unfolding drama of creation—and in fact, the whole Bible. And He is still creating, still acting, still moving into dark places, unafraid and all powerful, in order to bring light and life.
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Corinthians 4:6
2 Corinthians 4:6 refers back to Genesis 1:3 (“Let there be light”). Just like at creation, our foolish hearts are darkened (Romans 1), and we desperately need the light. And it’s God that again must initiate and cause the light to shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When that happens, when God reveals Himself to us as the light and we believe and follow Him, we no longer walk in darkness. Everything changes! Our loves, our desires, our motivations… now our hearts are brought into the light and we see a new path, a new way, and we find an eternal hope.
As we start 2022, there’s nothing better we can do than ask ourselves if we have this hope, this life, this light. Incredibly, when we follow Jesus and walk in the light, we become a new creation and begin to see new things that God is doing. And His Spirit (the same Spirit that hovered over the waters) will transform us and fill us (Colossians 1:27)!
Have you come into the light and joined in this thrilling adventure? There’s truly nothing like it! Please reach out to me if you want to talk more about this life-changing light and hope.
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
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:5-7
I’ll close with a song. I love “All Things New” by Steven Curtis Chapman (2004). But here’s another favorite by Big Daddy Weave about God making all things new; this one is more recent (2019) and also powerful. Watch as the lighter images overtake the dark ones. May God make all things new and bring light to the dark places this year!