And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
What happens to the Egyptians when there is no light at all? It is like they are dead. They can’t go anywhere. They can’t do anything. Overwhelmed by this oppressive darkness, they can’t live. They may as well be buried underground. And the truth is, the world around us is overshadowed in darkness. The prominence of sin blocks the light. The darkness within the evil hearts of mankind rises up and infects the world around us.
But Israel, however, had light. They had life through their God. He is light, and without Him, there is only darkness. He is the source of light, and so those who dwell in Him no longer dwell in darkness. There is no longer anything blocking His light from getting to us. There is no sin to prevent it from penetrating into our dwelling place and shining forth all around us. And so even as the world folds underneath that thick darkness, we can walk in the light of Christ.
There is a difference between those who accept God and those who reject Him. There is this tangible difference of emerging from a darkness into the bright light of His glory. There is a release from the works of darkness. There is a chance for new life. But it is only found in the presence of God, and it is only available when we are willing to leave that old deadness behind and step forth into something new. And when we do so, we find a light that is brighter than we ever thought possible.
In that thick darkness of Egypt, even the smallest light would have made a big difference. When nothing at all was visible, just the tiniest spark would have been noticeable. And the constant darkness of the world around us allows the light of Christ reflecting off of His people to make a noticeable difference. It can be seen from far off. It can illuminate a large space. It can help people to find their way out of that darkness and into the presence of Jesus to abide in His eternal and life-giving light. So may we shine brightly for Christ in a dark world. And may we refuse to return to that darkness from which we have been freed.