What are the history, nature, and attributes of light? The short answer is God. In Genesis 1:3, God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. In Genesis 1:4, God saw the light was good and separated the light from the darkness. In John 8:12, Jesus revealed, “I am the light of the world”, indicating Jesus was separated from the darkness of the world, which did not understand Him (John 1:5). Throughout the Bible, God’s goodness is always represented by light, whereas evil is characterized by darkness. Blessings abound by exploring a few of the aspects of light that make light so distinguished from the darkness.
Light has unique and fascinating features, which ultimately point to its Creator. For example, light is the only substance we know that cannot be corrupted, contaminated or defiled. We can change its color or direction, but we cannot alter its usefulness. Other substances we use, such as water or air, can easily be polluted by the addition chemicals, particles, or other contaminants. Something incapable of corruption, contamination or defilement must have a super purity, reviling and conquering any attempts to ruin it. Such an entity must be almost, well, Holy – just like our God! It’s not a coincidence that God should associate Himself with light. After all, He is light.
Physicists tell us light moves through space at a constant speed and it is the fastest moving entity in the Universe. It is possible to slow the rate of movement of light slightly, but the converse is not true – there is no way to exceed its velocity. A beam of light moves in one direction and travels at 186,000 miles per second. This fact alone should inspire awe, but there’s another incredible and eternal property that accompanies the speed of light, which points to our Creator – the speed is not additive.
Imagine for a moment you were sitting on a beam of light. If another beam of light were coming straight at you, the apparent speed would still be 186,000 miles per second, the speed of light. Light speed doesn’t work the same way as if you were in a car. Two cars coming toward each other at 60 miles per hour have an apparent velocity of 120 miles per hour. This additive phenomenon doesn’t happen at the speed of light, however. Observers on two light beams headed toward each other see themselves approaching at the speed of light, not twice the speed. Light speed is immutable, that is, unchanging, just like our God. The speed of light is also inexceedable, just like our God.
Another interesting property associated with light is how when you reach the speed of light, time virtually stops. If you are light, like our God, you are traveling at the speed of light and time almost stands still. This means each second becomes almost an eternity. It’s not a coincidence our God is eternal, and He views time in a much different way than we do. Just another reason God is light.
Throughout the Bible, the number seven is used repeatedly to indicate completeness. God used this first when He worked for six days and then created a day of rest, making a complete seven-day week (Genesis 2:2). Or, maybe the week wasn’t the first thing He made with seven individual components. In Genesis 1:3, He created light. If you take a triangular glass prism and hold it up to the light, you can create a rainbow of colors. How many colors? You guessed it, seven colors, known as ROY G. BIV by physicists for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Only when we combine all seven colors do we get pure, white light.
Combining seven colors to produce one purity is another example of how God often uses several items to make one unified entity. This combinatorial approach reflects the compound unity that is fundamental to our God. God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is a three-in-one, triune God. They are all together, perfectly combined, just as all the colors of light must be together to create pure, white light. Our God is also pure and Holy, clothed in spotless white garments.
Albert Einstein revolutionized the world of physics by discovering the relationship between matter and light. He expressed this in his equation stating energy (e) equals the mass (m) times the speed of light (c) squared. For the first time in history, man had demonstrated equivalence between matter and light. The world was amazed. God, however, was just giving us another glimpse of His incredible nature.
The first Law of Thermodynamics in physics states that matter can never be created nor destroyed. Until Einstein, the equivalence of matter and energy had not been demonstrated. I’m no physicist, but this equivalence tells me that if mass and light have equivalence, one can be made from or converted into the other. Man has used Einstein’s equation to unleash the power of the atom by splitting it, producing energy and light. Curiously, only God can reverse the process by taking light and converting it into matter. Perhaps this is the way He created the matter that makes up this Universe. What man can neither create nor destroy, God created by commanding it to be so out of sheer fiat.
It is normal for Him to be a giving God. Imagine Him taking part of Himself, some of His infinite light, and giving it up so it could be used to create the matter in the Heavens and the Earth for us to enjoy. This is the same God who would later give up His only Son, the Light of the World (John 8:12), for our eternal salvation. You just can’t out-give God.
Skeptics argue the Universe started with matter already in place, allowing the “Big Bang” to occur. What they can’t explain is where the energy came from to create the matter. To me, it’s obvious – only God could impart the energy needed to create the enormous amount of matter in the Universe.
Science can’t prove the God of light actually gave up part of Himself to create matter. That leap has to come by faith and is conjecture. To me, all the evidence points in that direction or one similar. It would be just like Him to give up part of Himself for us. Regardless of how He did it, we can see He is light in many, many ways. We can see how light displays many of His core attributes: Holiness, immutability, completeness, a triune nature, eternal in nature, and a proclivity to give, which is one aspect of love, and we know that He is love (1 John 4:8, 4:16).
God tells us He is light and love. He reveals these characteristics in many ways, but in the end, each of us has to believe His revelations by faith. Scripture tells us, “Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1). It is normal for God not to reveal all to us, but we can see the light. Light is just one gift He gives to help us justify and strengthen our faith. Praise God today for the light He is to the world!
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