Lighten Our Darkness

Opening Prayer

Father of Lights, I praise You for Your presence in my life. Reveal Your Word to me today.

Read Exodus 10:21–29

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”

25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

Reflect

Reflect on the symbolism of “darkness” and “light” in relation to your faith.

The “darkness that can be felt” (21) may refer to the hamsin—a wind that blew sporadically for about 50 days, bringing sandstorms in its wake. With the air thick with sand, visibility dropped, making the darkness forcefully, and painfully, felt. This is just one instance (cf. Exodus 14:21) where God harnesses the created order to accomplish his purposes—in this case, judgment.
In human thought, darkness is often used as a metaphor for ignorance, difficulty, despair, even evil; while light symbolizes knowledge, understanding, goodness. The Bible frequently describes redemption as deliverance from darkness or moving from darkness into light (Isaiah 9:2; Ephesians 5:8). In contrast, to be in darkness is to be without God, hence without eternal life.
Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was protected from this phenomenon (23). While suffering the consequences of Pharaoh’s wrath, God’s people are protected from the wrath of God. When Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12), this was not a guarantee that we will never know dark times in this world; it is a promise that we are saved from eternal darkness.

Apply

The Bible talks a lot about light. Do a word search for “light” and see how the Scriptures you find can help you in a dark situation.

Closing prayer

Ask God to bring his light to a dark situation you or someone you know is going through.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider