God is having me read through the Bible again, but I’m stuck on page 1. What kind of light did God create on the first day before he created the sun on the fourth day? For thousands of years, people have been asking this question, and there is still no definitive answer.
But do we need one?
I’ve been reading the Bible more or less daily for over 20 years, and it has never occurred to me to question the source of the light that God created on the first day. God is omnipotent; he can do what we consider to be the impossible. He can do things we cannot even conceive, because we don’t have the capacity to conceive them, the way we don’t have the capacity to hear certain sounds outside our hearing range or see certain colors outside our visual range. We’ve been given limited senses as human beings, and why that is I neither know nor care. It’s enough for me to know that God knows why he gave us limited senses. I trust him implicitly, even though I don’t always understand what he does or why he’s doing it.
The book of Revelation tells us that God’s glory provides the light in Heaven, so there is no need for the sun or the moon. What is God’s glory? It’s usually depicted as a light emanating from whatever body God’s Spirit is lighting on. So it emanates from God when he’s on his throne; it emanates from God’s anointed and blessed; it emanates from whatever is the focus of God’s presence. God, I maintain, manifests in time and space as his Holy Spirit, though occasionally he also manifests in a body, as witnessed by Moses. So is God’s Holy Spirit and his glory one and the same? As I said, God can do anything, so we should never be surprised by anything God is said to have done, even though we may not understand it with our limited senses and intellect.
Which brings us back to the light that God divided from the darkness and called “Day”. Was that his glory manifesting in time and space, the way his spirit moved over the face of the waters? Or was the light simply a thing called “light” that exists separate from God, the way that rocks and water exist separate from him? Or perhaps the light was the proverbial “big bang”?
Just before I was born-again, I died on a beach. In my death, I was surrounded by darkness. There was no light. I did not see a light, like most people claim to see during near-death experiences. I was not drawn to a light. I was steeped in darkness. Was the darkness I saw in my death the same darkness that God separated from the light he created on the first day? Maybe. Maybe the light he created was simply the essence of light, the way that the darkness that pre-existed the light was simply the essence of darkness. Note that God did not call the darkness “bad”, but he did call the light “good”. Was the darkness I was plunged into at my death simply the absence of good, or rather the absence of God, my being an atheist at the time?
I’m just thinking out loud here. I have no problems confessing my human limitations. Theologians have pored over scripture for centuries, trying to find a definitive answer to what kind of light God created on the first day, and while they’ve devised some interesting theories, none of them are scripture-based. They are all speculation bouncing off scripture rather than speculation based on scripture.
Here’s what I think (bounce bounce). I think that we won’t find everything we need to know about God and his creation in scripture. Jesus told his followers that he had many things to reveal to them, but that they couldn’t understand them at that time; they’d have to wait for God’s Spirit to reveal God’s Truth to them when they were ready to receive it.
Which means that much of God’s revelation is not found in scripture. It comes instead through God’s Holy Spirit, which God gives in measure to his children. Some receive more, some receive less. But these revelations from God’s Spirit to his children do not appear in scripture. If these revelations don’t appear in scripture, then we can’t point to scripture as the one and only source for learning God’s Truth.
If scripture is not the one and only source for learning God’s Truth, then we should not be surprised that scripture does not contain a definitive answer to what kind of light God created on the first day.
To me, the light God created is just simply light. I accept it at face value and don’t need to know more than that. The source of that light is, of course, God. Whether that means the light is the light of his glory, as it is in Heaven (according to the book of Revelation), or simply the light of “Day” as a created entity separated from darkness is irrelevant. What I think doesn’t matter. Truth matters, and for that I lean entirely on God’s understanding, not mine.
All I know, as my personal lived experience as a born-again believer, was that I died on a beach in Australia and was plunged into darkness. There was no light in my death. The light only appeared when I came back to life as a believer.
It has not gone out since then.