[forthright] Can You See in the Dark?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 06:28:40 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals.
http://forthrightpress.com/#MostImportant


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

Can You See in the Dark? 
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

"Alone in the dark," is one of the most frightening
situations that we can face. We abhor the darkness that
gathers around us like a cloak. Harmless objects assume
a malevolent face when obscured in darkness. Our vision
in the dark is untrustworthy because of these
distortions and inherent distrust. Hence, we cannot
trust our eyes in the absence of light.

If we find ourselves in the woods at night, we will run
with all of our might towards a distant light. Darkness
terrifies most of us and we resist it with all that we
have.

What is fascinating is that we often do the exact
opposite with spiritual darkness. We run away from
physical darkness while running to spiritual darkness
(Proverbs 1:16; Romans 3:10).

Scripture is very clear that light and darkness are
excellent ways to understand sin and righteousness.
"God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John
1:5, NKJV). Jesus calls himself the "light of the
world" (John 8:12) that is constantly misunderstood by
those in the darkness (John 1:4-5; 1 Thessalonians
5:5).

Yet, most still embrace the darkness, the abode of
Satan, where God has no place.

The righteous walk in the brightness of a sunny day
while, "The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do
not know what makes them stumble" (Proverbs 4:18-19).

The light entered the world but mankind “loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John
3:19). The words "were" and "evil" denote continual
action./1 He continues, "For everyone practicing evil
hates the light and does not come to the light, lest
his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20). The word
"evil" in 3:19 is a different word than the one in
3:20. The latter word refers to "worthlessness."/2

The behavior of those in darkness has no redeeming
qualities, in the eyes of God. They cannot see the good
around them because of the darkness in their eyes. A
roach doesn't know the benefits of cleanliness because
it is unnatural to them. Likewise, a person immersed in
darkness has so much goodness in the world that they
cannot see.

Spiritual darkness obscures hope, peace, unity, faith,
love and truth. We become blind to all that is great
without the light of the Lord. Evil becomes our default
position, leaving the world immeasurably bleak and
hopeless.

We must let the Lord's light bathe our lives in grace
and mercy and open our hearts to endless possibilities
for joy or we will never see the beauty of God!
_____________

1/ Marvin Vincent, Vincent's Word Studies in the New
Testament (Peabody: Hendrikson Publishers, n.d.), 2:101
2/ Ibid.

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