God Said Let There Be Light

Neither do men light a candle, & put it in a bushel, 
but on a candlestick; 
& it giveth light unto the all 
that are in the house. 
Matthew 5:15

Let Your Light So Shine...

Matthew 5:14-16 is such an interesting Scripture. It reads, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Reading and meditating on this passage, I see three things that stand out to me and seem significant as I consider my week past and look forward to the week ahead. 

First, I had not really noticed before how many times the word "light" was repeated. You are a light. Men light a candle. Let your light shine. At least three times in these three verses the word "light" is repeated, it is obviously important. If you look closely at it though, you will see the word "light" is used two different ways. A distinction is being made between the candle that is lit and the light inside of us. The word "light" is translated from two different Greek words, one being kaio, which is a primary verb meaning to set on fire or kindle. The other translation for the word "light" is from the Greek word phos, which means a light that is never kindled; therefore, it can never be quenched. I must ask myself which kind of light I carry inside of me. Am I using a light that is subject to burning out because the wick has never been trimmed and the light is made by my own efforts? Did I light it with a lighter or a match or a magnifying glass under the sun? Did I need kerosene to light it? Or is my light eternal? Is my light the result of God's presence and Spirit within me? If God is the light in me, then I need never worry about the light going out because he is exactly as "light" was defined in the word phos, never kindled and never quenched! 

Next, this passage makes me consider the placement of my light. The verses talk about a candle not being put under a bushel and being oxegyn deprived, resulting in being extinguished. They talk about the light that is placed on a candlestick, this means it is lifted up even as I am to do the name of Jesus! Scriptures talk about if we lift up the name of Jesus, then He will draw all men unto Him (John 12:32). It makes me think of all that I had to do this past week. I was very busy with all sorts of tasks. I worked several hours, conducted support groups, watched television, read books, did computer work, washed some laundry. Over the years, I have actually gotten quite good at multi-tasking. Considering this lifting up of the light so everyone in the house can see and the many task I did this week, reminds me of when I go to get groceries out of the trunk of the car. I always try to carry everything in at one time. My arms are loaded, my hands are full, and I am weighted down as the bags are flung across my torso and I trudge my way to the door. I think this week I was so busy that I had to set the candle down because I couldn't carry it with everything else in my hands. This means my house would have been dimly lit at best and it would have been difficult for any of us to see any further than a few feet in front of where I had set the candle and that is very limited at best.

Finally, I see the choice we have in how we lead people. Because this verse contrast two types of light, one that is man made and can be extinguished with one that is eternal and cannot be quenched, it reminds me there are two types of light in this world. There is a light that is made by the efforts of man himself. These lights are used to show people the way also. They lead to other gods, other religions, false beliefs, and wickedness of all kinds. They too shine brightly and are set up on candlesticks for all to see. Then there is the eternal light that cannot be fabricated and needed nothing for creation because it always existed, the Ancient of Days, our Creator, the One True Living God! Nothing can dampen or quench His light. I need to not only know which kind of light is in me and how I am using it, but also which light it is that I am drawn to. Which light have I surrounded myself by and is leading me? 

This week, for a short time during the day, the sky became dark as the sun was eclipsed by the moon and day turned to night and the cover of darkness. Eyes everywhere were looking up at the heavens. Business paused, parents sat with their children, parking lots and fields were filled with music, food, and people who travelled a great distance to see this natural phenomenon that man could not create or even mimic. And as the week ends and I read the Scriptures about light, I can't help but imagine...what would it have been like in those places had the sun and moon stopped moving at that moment and darkness became a more permanent part of our daytime? What kind of light would we have had at that moment to reassure people and the widespread panic that might result if our country or even a town or city in it were to suddenly not have any light from the sun again and darkness, like the night, stayed upon us? Is the light in me the kind that cannot be extinguished and if it is, then do I lift it up so that others might have light too? Or have I been careless with my light and the only thing it illuminates is the darkened corner of my heart with nothing for anyone else?

Abba Daddy, thank You so much for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Light of the World. Thank You that it is a light that cannot be extinguished and that shines brighter than the noonday sun as Your righteousness fills it. Forgive me for my ongoing tasks and busyness that keep me from lifting it up that others may also see. I ask Lord, that as we end one week and begin another, we might be conscious of the choice we make regarding light and darkness. Let us place our light on a candlestick, lifting high the name of Jesus, that all in the house would be able to see and to see Your good works and begin to glorify You. In Jesus name, amen.