“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
God’s truthfulness and holiness are powerful motives not to sin.
Light and darkness are familiar metaphors in Scripture. Intellectually, light refers to truth, and darkness to error; morally, light refers to holiness, and darkness to evil.
Intellectually, the Bible reveals God as the God of truth. In Exodus 34:6 God described Himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” Both Psalm 31:5 and Isaiah 65:16 refer to Him as the “God of truth.” In the New Testament, Jesus called Himself “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Not only is God true, but so also is His Word. In 2 Samuel 7:28 David exclaimed, “O Lord God, Thou art God, and Thy words are truth.” The Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible, “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), imparts the light of knowledge. In the familiar words of the psalmist, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).
Morally, light describes God’s absolute holiness and separation from evil. Psalm 5:4 says of Him, “No evil dwells with Thee.” “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil,” said the prophet Habakkuk to God, “and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). Because God is light in the sense of truth, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). When His Word promises that things will go well with the righteous (Isa. 3:10) and that sin brings consequences (Prov. 11:5), we can be certain that is exactly what will happen. Because God is moral light, we know that He is neither the cause of any evil we encounter, nor the source of our temptation (James 1:13).
Understanding the truth that God is light is foundational to dealing with sin in our lives.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Praise God that He has revealed His truth in the Bible.
- Ask God to give you a deeper understanding of His holiness as you study the Scriptures.
For Further Study
Read Proverbs 11:3; 19:3; James 1:13-15. Based on those passages, how would you answer someone who blames God for the bad things that happen to him or her?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.