Into the light
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. -Genesis 1:3
We are all born not knowing anything. We are born in darkness-in more ways than one. Just like the beginning of the world. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. The Earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:1-2). There was chaos and disorder and confusion, or the appearance of it until God said, “Let there be light.”
In Hebrew, the word for light in this passage is owr (pronounced as “ore”). It means illumination or enlightenment or intelligence. God brought these things to the darkness, in Hebrew choshek (pronounced “kocheck”). It means wickedness, ignorance, or destruction. God brought the intelligence to the ignorance, so to speak.
That kind of sounds like us, does it not? “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). We are born knowing nothing, seemingly ignorant, and sinful. As we go through life, we learn and gain experiences that guide our way. Some things consciously, other things unconsciously.
“It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience.” -Immanuel Kant
“No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.”
Our experience points our direction- what we like or dislike, what we want or do not want. It all stems from what we experience. As we grow and learn, our thoughts and preferences and habits become ingrained in us. And the process goes on and on, and as we experience new things, we can change those preferences and desires, thoughts, and needs.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Romans 12:19
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. -Proverbs 1:7
Whether or not we care to admit it, God is all around us. God is in us. We know He is there. Some people deny this fact. They think they are the only source of their experience and knowledge. “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking” (Romans 1:21). They continue in their foolishness, walking blindly through life, leaning on their own understanding.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
That was me. I did everything I could on my own to try to improve myself-to gain what I wanted from life. I was wandering, lost. I thought I could do it on my own, but I was so wrong.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise among you, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. -1 Corinthians 3:18
I was about as foolish as they come. I can not begin to say what I resorted to, that I might gain what I was hoping for. All I did was prove how lost and ignorant I was.
“To know what you know and do not know, that is true knowledge.” -Confucius
I gave up. Literally. I was down and lost and frustrated. As I watched my thousandth You Tube video on how to become more charismatic (or some such nonsense), I found some Mark Driscoll sermons in my recommendations. After only one or two of those, I said, “I might as well give up and follow Jesus.”
And the light went on. Now, I am not completely changed. I am not a complete saint by any means, but I know my path. The LORD set the path for me at that moment.
We are born in darkness. We need a light to light our path. “In Him was life and His life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
Jesus Christ is the light for our path. Without Him we are destined to a life of sadness and struggle. We will never be fulfilled. We will never have true joy or happiness. And there will be an eternity of darkness at the end of the road.
Look at the world around you. Think about where we come from and why we are here. We are not here to wander aimless, blind, and confused. That is what we do until we find Jesus.
God is knowledge. God is understanding. He is peace. God made us in His image to follow Him. It might take a little while. It took me over twenty years, but I finally “saw the light.” Knowledge began when I put my trust in Jesus Christ. Now I am going to learn and experience all I can to be as close as I can to the LORD. He is true knowledge. He is true life. Find knowledge. Find life. Admit you are lost. Admit you are a sinner, and you need a savior. Come to Jesus and live.
***LORD, God, I thank you for calling me out of the darkness. You shined your light on the path that leads to you. I was lost and now I am found, as the song says. I did not know which way I was going, only that I was not anywhere close to you. But you called me, LORD, when I needed you. You pulled me out of the darkness. You have given this opportunity to all in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the world. I pray that your grace and mercy and forgiveness will find its way into the hearts of all people of all nations, that no one should perish because of their sins. Help me, LORD, never fall off your path. Help those who need a light to your path. Give us knowledge, give us wisdom, give us grace and mercy. For your name’s sake. For your glory. In Jesus Christ’s beautiful name. Amen.***