At the dawn of creation, before God spoke His first creative words, darkness covered the surface of the formless and empty depths (Genesis 1:2). God’s first words changed everything. “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3).
At the dawn of salvation, “from noon until three in the afternoon ... darkness came over the whole land ... because the sun’s light failed” (Matthew 27:45; Luke 23:44–45). Darkness blanketed the earth as our humble King hung upon the tree. Jesus’ words, like God’s first words, transformed the darkness to light. Jesus’ victorious words were, “It is finished!”(John 19:30).
God’s nineth plague came at the dawn of the Hebrew’s liberation. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. One person could not see another, and for three days they did not move from where they were” (Exodus 10:21–23).
Read that again! Slowly! “A darkness that can be felt... thick darkness... for three days!”
Just like the third and six plagues, there was no notice, no warning. Suddenly, unexpectedly and unexplainably, darkness consumed the light. Throughout the land of Egypt, light was entirely absent. You could wave your hand and wiggle your fingers in front of your face and see nothing! Utter darkness.
Little children cried. Fear-filled momma’s clung to their children. Fathers did their best to comfort their families and not allow the others to recognize their fears. The strongest and most powerful worried and fretted. Everyone wondered how long God’s punishment would endure. Night without day, the sundial was stuck at midnight.
The Egyptian civilization was paralyzed. Their economy was frozen. Life stopped. With the darkness came an eerie quiet, broken only by the incessant weeping.
The Apostle Paul declared that each of us “were once darkness” (Ephesians 5:8). We lived in “the domain of darkness”(Colossians 1:13) struggling “against the cosmic powers of this darkness” (Ephesians 6:12).
Jesus changed everything when He said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Peter joyfully proclaims that Christians have been called “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Today, the world is a dark place as we teeter precariously on the brink of a world war. Take heart! Jesus is our light! God’s “word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). Thought the Egyptians lived in darkness, “all the Israelites had light where they lived” (Exodus 10:23).