Darkness Is As Light To You
Psalm 139:12 (ESV) -- even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
Have you ever experienced complete darkness? It is a disorienting experience. I remember the power going out at our house a few years ago. The darkness was so pervasive that we played hide-and-seek with the kids (and some friends who were at the house). The darkness was so total that you could almost hide in open sight and go unseen. That is darkness!
Our passage today teaches us something important about the character and nature of God. He sees all things. The psalmist writes, “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
What is the psalmist talking about in this passage? This is not about God’s “eyes,” but His knowledge. He knows all things. The Bible refers to this as “seeing” because that is often how we gain knowledge. We see things and rely upon that sense as a valid form of knowledge. How do I know that I visited the Sea of Galilee? Because I saw the map to where I was going and I saw the water that we eventually sailed on. My sight helped provide knowledge to me.
The Scriptures use the language of seeing to talk about God’s all-encompassing knowledge. The reason the psalmist here refers to darkness and light is because without light, our eyes cannot discern what is around us. The eyes use light to focus on what is around us. This is an incredible process that God created. However, God doesn’t have eyes. He simply has exhaustive knowledge of all things. This is why the psalmist says even darkness is not dark to God. The difference between humans and God is we are limited in our knowledge. There are things that are “in the dark” to us, unknowable. Not God. The night is as bright as day to Him.
This comforts believers and terrifies unbelievers. We cannot hide anything from God’s knowledge. He “sees” it all. No sin can be secluded from Him. Likewise, no good deed goes unnoticed.
Let the omniscience of God bring you to repentance of sin, but also let it bring you to joy in remembering that He knows your needs. And He does not withhold from you.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why are sight and knowledge synonymous in Scripture and theology?
- What does the psalmist communicate when discussing how darkness and light relate to God?
- How does this passage encourage you? Where does it challenge you?
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