FLEE DARKNESS – LIVE IN THE LIGHT
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Eph. 5:11-17).
Bugs and creepy crawlies live the darkness. Kick over a stone and they scatter, scuttling off to find another dark spot where they can take shelter from the light. Bugs don’t hide from the light because they are evil; they hide under stones to stay out of sight because predators are continually hunting for a tasty morsel.
People hide in darkness for a very different reason.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:20-21).
What is darkness in this context? Ignorance or willful disobedience to the standards God has set for us leaves us in darkness. ‘Light’ and ‘darkness’ are common metaphors in Scripture. Light represents the truth about God and us that He has revealed in His Word, and the moral and upright living that flows from obeying God’s instructions. Darkness is the opposite – immoral living in contradiction to God’s Word.
King David understood the part that God’s Word plays in keeping our feet on the right path in life.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psa. 119:105).
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psa. 119:11).
Obedience to the prescriptions and instructions in God’s Word enables us to navigate the pitfalls in life without damaging our consciences or our souls. First of all, God teaches us how to have harmonious relationships with one another – within the closest of all bonds in the family, and then with the people who radiate outwards from our inner circle, friends and acquaintances and those with whom we rub shoulders in the world.
God created an interactive universe as an expression of the unity within the Trinity. God is one – according to the daily confession of the Israelites:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deut. 6:4).
The word for one – echad – can mean either a single unit or a compound unity, depending on its context. Jewish scholars argue that God is a single person while Christians believe that God is a compound unity – three persons in one Godhead.
However, both man and the universe bear witness to the amazingly complex unity that exists in every system which is an expression of the echad in God. Everything in the universe is interdependent and interactive.
The Apostle Paul expressed the same thought:
For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord (Rom. 14:7-8).
The point is that the human race is interconnected and interdependent, just as is the physical universe. Whether we live by the God’s Word or in defiance of God’s standards, what we do affects other people in a ripple effect. My sin and your sin contribute to the chaos around us and we cannot escape the consequences of our disobedience and the disobedience of others.
On this basis, Paul pleads with his readers to live in the light. Wisdom, in the simplest terms, means doing what works. God has told us in His Word what works. Sin in all its ramifications does not work because it creates chaos in relationships.
Our responsibility as believers is to maintain harmony in all our relationships by walking in the light with God and with one another.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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