Gems from Genesis: Chapter 1

Spending a week in the first chapter of the Bible was an amazing experience. While the words were not new, the lessons I gleaned in study were. I was so blown away by it all. It’s hard for me to not write pages on this chapter, but for your sake, I’m showing restraint today by focusing on three verses:

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. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.

Genesis 1:3-5 ESV

After the first two verses which summarize what is to follow, the wonder of creation begins with a word from God: “Let there be light.”

Light begins the process.

In a space without form, and that’s void and dark, God uses light to get things started. Light comes from his essence. We know this from Scripture:

  • 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. John 3:1-5
  • 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. 1 John 1:5
  • 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
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Life comes from the presence of light. Without light, there can be no life. For this reason, God starts everything off with light.

Light in the Old Testament is a symbol of blessing.

  • But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Proverbs 4:18
  • The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
  • And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3
  • Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. Ecclesiastes 2:13

God saw that the light was good.

God allowed darkness to remain, though separated from the light.

Verse four says that God separated the light from the darkness. As he spoke light into the void, he had the power to rid the world completely of darkness. We know on the day when the earth will be made new, there will be no need for the sun, because the glory of the Lord gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23)

Why would God allow darkness to remain? Because he created man with free will. How can we appreciate the light if we’ve never known darkness?

Jesus came into this world in a time of darkness, due to the evil of the Roman Empire and after four hundred years of silence from God. John the Baptist gave witness to the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:9-13

While people continue to choose to live in darkness, a time is coming when there will be no more night.

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

Light started it all and light brings it to completion.

This light, which we have only glimpsed with our physical and spiritual eyes, will be fully revealed on the day of Christ’s return. Darkness will be no more.

I pray that as we have meditated on these first few verses in Genesis 1, you will have a hunger to look for God’s light throughout the whole of Scripture. When you do, you’ll see his grace, his blessing, his salvation, his guidance, and ultimately his goodness as the God of light.

Tim Hughes got it right when he wrote these words:

Light of the world

You stepped down into darkness

Opened my eyes, let me see

Beauty that made this heart adore you

Hope of a life spent with you

Here I am to worship.

Grace and Peace

Let me hear from you! I'd love your feedback on this post.