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A Relook of Genesis 1: Let There Be Light

The creation story has sparked many controversies and debates over the millennium. It’s funny how such a simple story covering 6-work-days can lead to such a big debate in the Christian realm.

Here, I don’t aim to offer the definite answer to the creation story. Rather, I aim to give my insights into it. Like sharing my train of thoughts on the creation story; my perspective. Here, I will be writing a handful of posts, detailing what I think about Light, Expanse, and Human beings, from Genesis 1.

When God said, “let there be light”, He was thinking of an eternity with us.

The infamous first line of God in the entire Bible, “let there be Light”, has captured the attention of many people; Christians and non-Christians alike. Up until now, it is still debated in many settings about whether or not the “light” is the “sun”, or “the Big Bang”, or something else all together. It wasn’t too long ago when I shared about God being the “power” that started the Big Bang. Though it’s true, there is actually more to the “let there be light” story than meets the eye.

Our search for such a light takes us to 2 Corinthians 4:6. Paul wrote, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”. Here, Paul clearly referenced the creation story in Genesis 1:3 — “let there be light”. But here, Paul tells us much more than light. Paul tells us that this light that God created is His Light — the light that shines in our hearts; the light of the knowledge of God’s glory that is displayed in the face of Christ. So there we have it, this Light is 1) God’s Light, 2) The Light that shines in our hearts, 3) the light reflects the knowledge of God’s glory, and 4) the light is displayed in the face of Christ.

To make sense of this, I turned to Isaiah 9:2. Isaiah wrote, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned”. Because we already knew the Christmas story, we know here that Isaiah is referring to the birth of Christ. The starlight that guided the shepherds to Baby Jesus. But much more than that, we know that Christ’s calling was to “bind up the brokenhearted”, “proclaim freedom for the captives”, and “release prisoners from darkness” (ref: Isaiah 61:1). So, can this light be Jesus Christ Himself? 

Considering that at this stage of creation, celestial bodies have not been created. There were no Sun, no stars, no moon, no whatsoever. It was only God in the middle of darkness. In a sense, it is somewhat like pre-creation life. How is life before and after creation like? For that, we look at Revelations 22 when Eden was restored. John wrote in Revelations 22:5, “there will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Here, we see the astonishing parallel here between the beginning of the Bible and the end of it — God’s restoring His masterpiece Himself. “Let there be light” and “there was light”. “He is that light”. In fact, John wrote, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).”

Now, if God Himself is the light, how can God create Himself? No creator can ever create Himself unless He created something that represents Himself — something of a lower dimension and a lot more finite than He. Building onto this logic, what in the universe can God create that encompasses God’s fullness within it?

This brings me to Colossians 1:15-17. Paul wrote, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Now it made sense. Jesus Christ was the firstborn over all creation. He was Created to have the fullness of God within Him. God created all things through Him and for Him. He is before all things and He holds all things together. This was no wonder why vegetations can grow before the Sun was created (ref: Genesis 1:11). Just like how it was meant to be in Revelations 22 — the tree of life grew in the light of God, without the need for the Sun or a lamp.

Finally, this brings me to John 1:1-5. John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Here, John explains that Jesus Christ is the Word of God; Jesus Christ is God. Through this Word, all things were made. In Christ was life, and this life is the light. Let us keep this in mind and meditate once more at the statement, “let there be light”. In essence, God was not referring to the Big Bang, to the Sun, nor to anything else. When God said, “let there be light”, He was essentially saying, “let me descend into the darkness, create an image that I can rest within, and give everything I am about to create — life”. In other words, when God said, “let there be light”, He was forsaking everything He knew to create “life” in “the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead” (Ezekiel 31:14, NIV). With great love, God shone Himself into the darkness. But in the wickedness of darkness, “the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:5, NIV).

In essence, when God said, “let there be light”, He was preparing for the universe itself to be “liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21, NIV). When God said, “let there be light”, He was thinking of an eternity with us.

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