Beautiful words from Thad Noyes…
One of the most impressive and sweeping statements we find in Scripture about the nature of God comes from the Apostle, John:
“This is the message we heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5).
As it is light’s nature to reveal while dispelling all that is dark, the “light” of God is his self revelation as all that is pure and holy and just and true. God shines forth in the radiance of his glory and the beauty of his person. Consider the strength of his love, the magnitude of his grace. He is radiant. He is brilliant. God is light.
The theme is striking in Scripture. Whether it is Moses’ blinding face or Jesus transfigured before Peter, James, and John, the glory of God shines forth. Perhpas most striking the Bible’s final description of the new heavens and the new earth:
“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23).
God’s very glory is sufficient to replace the light of the sun. I don’t know everything that means, or exactly how that’s going to work. But consider our own sun. You cannot even stare into it, and it’s millions of miles away. And there’s billions of them throughout the universe. God is greater than them all, for he created them all. What must God be like?
Paul tells Timothy that God dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16). No once can see him and live (Ex 33:20).
It makes sense, then, that in Scripture when God reveals some limited aspect of his glory, men fall down. They are struck with their own “darkness” and sin. Thy cry out for his mercy, or even plead with him to depart. It makes sense, then, that when God does grant mercy, atones for sin, and enables a man stand before him, that man can never be the same. He is now in the light. He walks in the light.
Thanks be to the God who “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).