by, Isam Itson III
Revelation 22:5, Night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light, and they will reign forever and ever.
I cannot count the number of times that I have stubbed my toe on a piece of furniture while moving through a dark room in the middle of the night, because I did not want to turn on a light and wake up the other people I was staying with. When there is absolutely no light it is nearly impossible to move about safely at the same speed that we we move about in broad daylight.
That’s why traditionally, night is the time to stop working. Without the light of day we cannot see so clearly. So we stop working. We wait until the dawn of a new day. It is dangerous to make progress in the darkness of night. We could walk off a cliff and never know it. We could be attacked by a wild animal or a thief that we never saw coming. Without the light of day, humans cannot thrive in peace and safety.
Day is the time to work. Under the light of day we can see clearly what we need to do and where we need to go. During the day we can safely navigate our surroundings and discern our possibilities. During the light of day we can see one another clearly.
The Bible opens and closes with God overcoming the darkness that makes life impossible. In the first book of the Bible, in Genesis 1:3-5, God speaks and causes his light to enter the earth. The light he calls “day” and the darkness he calls “night”. During the day God works and at night God stops working. By the light and power of his presence and his word, God puts the earth in order over the course of six days, so that life can thrive under his supreme authority. God limits the amount of time that the darkness of light covers the earth. God establishes a period of time everyday for people to go about their lives in broad daylight. Light makes organized human life possible.
In the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 22:5, the author of scripture records his God given vision of God’s new order for human life within a renewed creation. After the end of all things God will create a new heaven and a new earth. But in the new creation there will be no night. There will only be the light of his presence. There will no longer be any place for the danger, disorder, or confusion that is literally and figuratively characteristic of darkness.
But the light of this new creation is not the light of the sun, moon, or stars. This is the light of God’s unveiled presence. This is the light of God’s eternal glory. This is the picture of God’s unrestricted and unlimited presence among his people. This is the picture of life with God in one everlasting “day”. Our everlasting reign with God will never end. There will be no end or interruption in the honor that we will pay to God or one another.
In the new Jerusalem, the new city of God’s people, in the new heaven and the new earth of the new creation, there will be an abundant supply of everything we need to thrive.
Revelation 22:1-3, Then he showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the city’s main street. The tree of life was on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, 3 and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him.
In the new Jerusalem, there will be no sense of distance between God and his people. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, will live with us forever. There will be no fear of harm, abandonment, or death, because there will be no night. We will live with God and reign with God under the covering of the eternal and everlasting light of God’s glory.
The darkness that we deal with in life is temporary. It is not definitive of God’s purpose for creating us. This is our promised destiny with God through faith in Jesus Christ. An unlimited and endless experience of life with God and peace between each other within the eternal light of God, forever and ever.
No more night. No more darkness. No more pain. No more loss and grief. No more injustice or tyranny. Only God’s light, life, and love. This is the future joy that encourages us to persevere through our daily struggles. Followers of Jesus Christ are already citizens of God’s eternal kingdom. We are passing through this life lived in the shadow of death, into God’s new life for us, which will be lived in the fulness of his boundless light, life, and love. We do not need to give in to the fear for our life. No matter what we face, God is with us. Let’s take some time, every morning, to remember that.