Last week was Halloween with its emphasis on the ‘dark side’ to borrow a phrase from Star Wars. This week’s Bible Notes offer a contrast by looking at the theme of Light.
Exodus 10:20-23 NIVUK
20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt – darkness that can be felt.’ 22 So Moses stretched out his hand towards the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
Light appears a couple of times in the Exodus story. Later on, the Israelites will be led by God’s pillar of fire, a protective and guiding light at night. Before this, however, it appears in the plagues that God sent via Moses to change Pharoah’s mind and let his people go to worship. One of the final ‘plagues’ was darkness. It is easy to take light for granted, it is there everyday, but as Genesis 1 told us yesterday, it is a gift of God, a gift that here he retracts, from the Egyptians at least: light continues to shine on his people.
Father, as the winter days shorten, we are more aware than usual of the impact and importance of light. Thank you for this precious gift that points us to you as well as bringing us illumination and warmth.