And God Separated
Wednesday, February 28 2018
He has been doing it since the beginning.
The very first words of the Bible read:
"In the beginning, God..."
For God there is no beginning, because He is eternal. He has no beginning and He has no end. He simply always has been and always will be.
So when the "beginning" began, that is the beginning of all created things, He, the uncreated One, was already there. In fact, He Himself was the Creator of all those created things in the beginning.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
At first, the earth was formless and void, and covered with darkness. There, the Spirit of God hovered as it waited to be summoned into the act of creation. (v.2)
"And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light."
Just like that: God spoke, and it was so.
"And God saw that the light was good.
And God separated the light from the darkness."
Evidently, the darkness that had covered the earth before was not good. So He created the light, and saw that, in contrast to the darkness, the light was good. And then He separated the light from the darkness – the good from the not good.
Because "God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) God is light and God is perfect goodness – all darkness and all evil are completely separated from Him.
Jesus once said of Himself: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Jesus is light, so darkness is the absence of Jesus.
As I said, He has been doing it since the beginning. That is, God has been separating the light from the darkness, separating the good from the not good. Making it clear that the two do not and cannot coexist – that they are always separate, always distinguished and divided. Making it clear that there is no middle ground - where darkness and light, and where goodness and evil, can blend and fuse.
Jesus once spoke a parable of God separating the wheat from the tares at harvest time – of gathering the weeds first and binding them in bundles to be burned, and then gathering the wheat into His barn. That is, the sons of the evil one and the law-breakers will be gathered out of God's kingdom and thrown into the fiery furnace – then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
Jesus also spoke of God separating the people from all the nations of the world as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. That is, the sheep, blessed by the Father, will be led to their inheritance of eternal life; and the goats, those who are cursed, will be led away to eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:31-46)
From the beginning, God has been separating the things that are light and good from the things that are dark and not good.
And He commands me to do the same.
He commands me to love and fear the Lord, and to hate evil; to live in righteousness, and not in sin. Because He is perfectly holy, and He Himself hates the evil and sinful way. (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 8:13)
He commands me to enter through the small gate and walk along the narrow road of life, and to not choose the wide gate and the broad road. Because the latter leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. But the former leads to life, even though few are on it. (Matthew 7:13)
He commands me to love, and not to hate; to bless and not to curse – everyone, including my enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
In fact, the prophet Isaiah wrote: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (5:20)
"In the beginning, God... separated the light from the darkness."
May we too, as He has commanded us, be sure to always separate the things of light from the things of darkness, to distinguish and to divide the good from the evil, in our lives.
Interestingly enough, so central and so significant is this particular work of God in the biblical Creation story, that in the early 16th century one of the nine frescos on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Vatican City painted by the renowned Michelangelo was entitled "Separation of Light from Darkness".
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