God said, “Let there be light.” Genesis 1:3
In my daughter’s earliest days, I often named for her the things she encountered. I’d identify objects or allow her to touch something unfamiliar and say the word for her, bringing understanding—and vocabulary—to the vast world she was exploring. Though my husband and I might naturally have expected (or hoped) her first word would be Mama or Daddy, she surprised us with an entirely different first word: her small mouth murmured dight one day—a sweet, mispronounced echo of the word light I’d just shared with her.
Light is one of God’s first words recorded for us in the Bible. As the Spirit of God hovered over a dark, formless, and empty Earth, God introduced light into His creation, saying, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). He said the light was good, which the rest of Scripture bears out: the psalmist explains that God’s words illuminate our understanding (Psalm 119:130), and Jesus refers to Himself as “the light of the world,” the giver of the light of life (John 8:12).
God’s first utterance in the work of creation was to give light. That wasn’t because He needed light to do His work; no, the light was for us. Light enables us to see Him and to identify His fingerprints on the creation around us, to discern what is good from what is not, and to follow Jesus one step at a time in this vast world.
In what area of your life do you most need God’s light right now? How has His light helped you in the past?
Thank You, Jesus, for being the light of life, who illuminates the path for me every day.
Light was so important to Israel’s concept of God that the Jewish Scriptures begin with the account of the creation of light to penetrate the darkness (Genesis 1:3). This light-giving God was also seen in the psalmist’s recognition of Torah as “a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). Additionally, one of the primary pieces of sacred furniture in the ancient tabernacle was a golden lampstand (Exodus 25:31), providing light to the priests serving in the Holy Place. The temple was desecrated around 170 to 160 bc, and its restoration was celebrated by what is known today as Hanukkah—the festival of lights. All this and more bring focus to the high priority of light in Judaism.