Sunday, September 28, 2014

Space before creation

It’s hard to imagine what space would have been like prior to creation. Take away the stars, planets and other lights and we have to presume darkness. Imagine that! God wrapped in deep darkness. Does your mind recoil at this as does mine?

There is a fascinating contrast, even paradox confronting us as we meditate upon getting a glimpse of God before creation as we know it. I’d like us to preview some verses together and allow our finite minds to go on a journey. Where will it take us? Let’s find out.

In Exodus 20 Moses has taken the nation to Mt. Sinai. The appearance of God was associated with thunder, lightning, trumpet and smoke. Moses had to ascend the mount and in verse 21: ‘The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.’ Compare Deuteronomy 4:11. 5:23.

Ps.18:9: He (God) parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.
Ps 18:11: He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him.
Ps.97:2: Clouds and thick darkness surrounds him.
1 Kings 8:12: Solomon said “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud.
Whilst the Lord God had space dressed in blackness it had no part within His nature.
Now let us contrast that with:-

Deuteronomy 4:24: ‘The Lord your God is a consuming fire…’ (Hebrews 12:29).
Ps. 104:2: ‘The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment.’

Isaiah 60:19: The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.’ (Revelation 21:23)

1 John 1:5: ‘God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.’

1 Timothy 6:15-16: ‘God, the blessed and only ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.’

How can these two seemingly contradictory concepts be harmonised?
I wonder if the darkness in which He covers Himself was for our benefit. Because His radiant holiness is as a consuming fire, unapproachable, God shields humanity by this canopy of darkness. If we are to meet Him we must be properly dressed to stand in His company. This is only possible when we have been redeemed from ungodliness, dressed in Christ’s righteousness and indwelt by His Spirit. The Eternal Lord God has made this offer open to all. It is received by a faith commitment of your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. He has all which is needed to be in the Father's presence and not be consumed.

When Moses went up to meet God he was enveloped in a dense cloud. When Moses went back down the mountain he didn’t realised the change in his appearance had occurred. His face was radiant. (Exodus 34:29-30). How awesome! Encompassed by a cloud, presumably dark, he had fellowship with the Lord God and it showed. Explain it how you will, there is a beautiful spiritual insight for life and worship expressed here. In our times of being shrouded in life’s dark clouds our Lord is willing to meet us there. When we come out of that darkness there will be an unselfconsciousness of the Lord’s radiance impacting others. David, the king of Israel and writer of Psalm 139: 11–12 summed it up so well: ‘If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.’

My imagination pictures space before creation as total darkness. And yet the blazing radiance of the glorious light of the Eternal and holy triune God was there. He and He alone was the focal point across the whole of space. I wonder if it will something similar when we are caught up to ‘the Father’s house’ at the end of time. Whilst we will involved in a new heaven and a new earth once again the focal point will be God and God alone.

Therefore until then Psalm 23:4 takes on added significance and in life's uncertainty I’ll cling to the psalmist’s words: Even though I walk through the darkest valley (or, the valley of the shadow of death), I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ The Lord will walk with us and bring us into the light of His eternal day.

Devotional books by Ray N Hawkins

Children: God's special interest
From Eden with Love (about marriage)
Bethlehem's Warrior Baby (Christmas)
Captured by Calvary
Dynamic Ageing
Signposts to Happiness
We love because...(Love poems)

See under 'Books' for more details.

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