By Elizabeth Prata
The thread of Christianity depends on a unity from one generation to the next of mutual understanding of our important words. Hence the Word of the Week.
This is a repost from September 2018
Normally I write about a little-used word but one that we as believers need to know (and use in our vocabulary). I’ve written about aseity, omnipotence, and justification, for example. But this week’s word will be Light.
It seems like it is an easy word, and it is, but as with all things in the Bible, there are layers of meaning.
The word Light is used in the Bible in several different ways. There is created light, as when God said “Let there be light”…and He separated the light from the dark. This is literal. There is miraculous light, as in the glory light of Jesus when He transfigured. And there is figurative/symbolic Light, as in the Word is a light or when we are ‘in the light’ as opposed to those sinners who are ‘in darkness’, or ‘don’t hide your light under a bushel’.
Once you see the different ways the word light is used you can’t unsee it, nor would you want to, lol.
In the ATS Bible Dictionary, we read,
One of the most wonderful, cheering, and useful of all the works of God; called into being on the first of the six days of creation, by his voice: “Let there be light;” and there was light. No object better illustrates whatever is pure, glorious, spiritual, joyful, and beneficent. Hence the beauty and force of the expressions, “God is light,” 1 John 1:5, and “the Father of lights,” James 1:17; Christ is the “Sun of righteousness,” and “the light of the world,” John 1:9 8:12. So also the word of God is “a light,” Psalm 119:105; truth and Christians are lights, John 3:19 12:36; prosperity is “light,” Esther 8:16; and heaven is full of light, Revelation 21:23-25. The opposite of all these is “darkness.”
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia explains
The word “light” is Divinely rich in its comprehensiveness and meaning. Its material splendor is used throughout the Scriptures as the symbol and synonym of all that is luminous and radiant in the mental, moral and spiritual life of men and angels; while the eternal God, because of His holiness and moral perfection, is pictured as “dwelling in light unapproachable” (1 Timothy 6:16). Every phase of the word, from the original light in the natural world to the spiritual glory of the celestial, is found in Holy Writ.
The ISBE even goes on to further separate the different concepts of Light into Natural Light, Artificial Light, Miraculous Light, Mental, Moral, Spiritual Light; and explores its symbolism, expressive terms, and more. Check it out!
We first read the word light in Genesis 1:3 and the Bible closes with it in Revelation 22:5. Light. It’s such a simple word, but such a complex theme.
Devotional: Walk in the Light
Study: Light and Darkness
Blog post: Light of the World