God is Light
“This is the message we have heard from Him (Jesus) and proclaim to you that God is light and in Him is no darkness”
(I John 1:5).
(I John 1:5).
The Bible teaches us that God is light.
What does science say about light?
Light is the most difficult one the scientists came across. It is an elusive question. Scientists say that light is energy. By definition, energy is the ability to do work and it occupies no space. i.e. energy needs no space to occupy. While all other energies such as sound, magnetism, electricity etc are easily comprehensible, the scientific world grope in the darkness to comprehend light, as explained below.
a. Light - Matter or Energy? (dual nature)
Light shows many distinct characteristic phenomena like reflection, refraction, rectilinear propagation, diffraction, interference, photoelectric effect, polarization etc. Many scientists put forward many theories to explain light. But none of them could satisfactorily explain all the phenomena of light. [Note: Sir Isaac Newton put forward the Corpuscular theory of light. This theory states that light is the flow of tiny elastic particles (matter) originated from the source and could satisfactorily explain the phenomena like reflection, refraction and rectilinear propagation of light. But this theory failed to explain some other phenomena like diffraction, interference etc. Moreover, the velocity of light was not experimentally determined in his times. Applying this theory, he predicted that the velocity of light increases with the increase in density of the medium through which it passes. Later, Leon Foucault experimentally proved that the light travels fastest in space with a velocity of 3 x 108 m/s. and as the density of the medium increases, the velocity of light decreases. So Newton’s Corpuscular theory was set aside. Christian Huygens Wave theory could satisfactorily explain the phenomena like diffraction and interference; but it failed to explain many other phenomena of light. Maxwell, another eminent scientist was conducting studies on Electro Magnetic waves during this period. The striking resemblance of the velocity of light with that of the electromagnetic waves led the scientists to think that light may also be an electromagnetic wave (energy waves, not particles). The electromagnetic wave theory failed to explain the phenomenon of photoelectric effect – the phenomenon of the emission of electrons (production of electricity) when light fall on certain metals. This phenomenon proved beyond doubt the material nature of light. Then the scientists were forced to turn once again to the Corpuscular theory which was set aside earlier. Albert Einstein finally concluded that light is an electromagnetic radiation showing dual nature. i.e. sometimes light behaves as energy -i.e. it does not occupy space, and in some other phenomena, it behaves as the flow of material particles– i.e. it sometimes occupies space].
b. God - Matter or Spirit? (dual nature)
The Bible teaches us that “God is Spirit” (John 4:24) i.e. God occupies no space; but in very few occasions, we see God occupying space. e g. In the synagogue built by the King Solomon, we see the priests literally fail to stand when God transcended (I Kings 8:10, 11). Here God practically occupies space just like matter. In most cases, God works just like Holy Spirit by activating a man or an object just like electricity energizes and moves a machine.
But the same Holy Spirit (God the Father) took birth, in this world as a Man (Jesus Christ). He did occupy space in this material world. God is also dual in in nature – Spirit & Matter..
Explanation - One of the most fundamental properties of matter is its impenetrability. i.e. two matters cannot occupy the same space simultaneously. e.g. (1) when water is poured into a glass, air inside it is expelled or substituted with water. Similarly, when God transcended into the holy place of the synagogue built by King Solomon, the priests could not stand there (I Kings 8: 10, 11). (2) Darkness, in absolute sense, (in its thickest form) can be felt. God said to Moses, “Stretch your hand towards heaven that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt”. So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. They did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days (Exodus 10: 21-23). This description shows that the darkness pressed the people of Egypt down to their seats for three days so that none could physically move or stand from their seats. This means that darkness also shows material nature. When light is allowed to enter a place, the darkness will definitely be expelled, however thick or old it may be. Here, the light substitutes darkness. In short, God also shows dual nature, just like light. The scientists failed to comprehend light. Similarly, we can not comprehend God completely.
“God is light” (I John 1: 5). God created light (Genesis 1:3)
If we analyze things in the relative sense, these two verses may appear to be non sensible. But, in the absolute sense, we can very well explain it. God is extraordinarily bright light. (Matthew 17: 2, Acts 9: 3, Revelation 1: 16). He is so intensely bright that no one can live on this earth after seeing Him (Exodus 33: 20). But, God gracefully revealed, a portion of His light to man; or He made a portion of His light visible to man so that man can live on the earth, even after seeing Him. We can look at Him and become radiant (Psalm 34: 5). In other words, He made man’s eyes in such a way that he is capable of seeing a portion of God’s Light. Electromagnetic spectrum is a wide band of electromagnetic radiations, including light. Human eye is sensitive to only a small portion of it – white light which is a combination of seven colors from violet to red. All other components of the electromagnetic spectrum such as infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays etc. are invisible to human eyes. God is Light; and God created Light. Similarly, the invisible God made a portion of Himself visible to man in the form of Man, Jesus Christ. The invisible part of Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. (I John 1:
“He reveals deep and mysterious things, he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2: 22)
Modern science says that a fluorescent lamp (tube light) emits light and darkness alternately about 100 times in a second. i.e. it emits light 50 times a second and darkness 50 times a second alternately. However we see light continuously, why?
This is due to a phenomenon of light called persistence of vision. When we look at an object, its image is formed on our retina (the screen of our eye). This image lasts there for 1/16th part of a second. If we look at another object and its image is formed on the retina, before that time, we will see the mixture of the two objects. Here, the light falls on our retina, and it stays there for 1/16th of a second; before it vanishes, light again falls into the retina. As a result, we see continuous light. Then a question arises- darkness also falls into the retina, it lasts there for 1/16th of a second; before it vanishes, darkness again falls into it. Why don’t we see continuous darkness?
The Bible says- the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome light. i.e. if light and darkness alternately falls on our retina, light will overcome darkness and we will see continuous light.
King Solomon says that God (Light) dwells in thick darkness. How is it possible?
The King Solomon, amidst the prayer dedicating the newly constructed synagogue, said: “The Lord said that He would dwell in thick darkness.” (I Kings 8:12). Moreover the Bible says (i) “clouds and thick darkness are round about Him (God)” (Psalm 97:2). (ii) “And the people stood afar off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:21). God, being absolutely pure light, and light being stronger than darkness, light can never dwell in thick darkness. But this is a very special case. This is the King Solomon’s prophecy regarding the end phase of Jesus Christ as Man on the earth. i.e. the phase from the garden of Gathsemane to the holy Cross when He uttered these precious words- “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). This is a very special occasion when the sin, inequities and transgressions of the entire human beings of all generations were placed over Jesus Christ. Then the relation of oneness between God and Jesus Christ broke; and Jesus Christ, the absolutely pure light, had to live in the thickest darkness of sin and God’s judgment.
The Bible says that God is Light (I John 1:5). Jesus Christ advises us to become the light of the world (Matthew 5:13).
How can we become the light of the world?
We can become the light of the world by abiding in the absolutely pure Light (God) and allowing Him to abide in us, as commanded by Jesus (John 15:4). Actually, God is eagerly waiting to abide in us. St. Paul writes to the faithful and saintly believers of the church at Ephesus that they are the light in the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8). This is because they abided in Jesus Christ. Referring to their past carnal life, St. Paul says that they were darkness (Ephesus 5:9). i.e. once a man is regenerated, or born again, he automatically becomes the light of the world. Naturally, he begins to bring out the fruit of the light. “The fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:9). The Bible explicitly teaches us that we can become the light of the world by doing perfectly good, right and true things, in the absolute sense. God is Light. You are, or ought to be the light of the world.