Why Does God Call the Light "Good"?

Luisa Collopy

Contributing Writer
Updated May 13, 2024
Why Does God Call the Light "Good"?

Sin’s curse of death—the darkness—no longer dominates us, for eternal life in Christ reigns over us.

I watched the animated film Orion and the Dark. It’s the story of an 11-year-old boy named Orion, who had an irrational fear of the dark. So, Dark decided to convince him what his work, along with Insomnia, Quiet, etc., was all about by taking him on an adventure. Despite the combined efforts of the “night entities” to change his mind, Orion told them of his continued preference for Light, as it made him “feel safe and warm.” 

Let’s pause the story there.

“Let There Be Light!”

In the creation of the world, it’s interesting to note the passage that says the earth was “without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2). It seemed like it was just a blah of nothingness! But knowing that God creates beauty, His work was just about to start.

The first thing God called was light. He said, “'Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (vv.3-5). 

When the Israelites were fleeing from the Egyptians during the great exodus, God was there to protect and guide them along the way, especially by night, with “a pillar of fire to give them light” (Exodus 13:21). 

In the construction of the Tabernacle, the creation of the detailed lampstand was included. This, in the practical sense, was to provide light in the holy place. Spiritually, it represented God’s eternal life and light to His people. As for the lampstand oil, God said to Moses, “You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn… Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel” (Exodus 27:20-21). As for the oil? It symbolized the good works of His people produced by righteous living. 

Then, the Book of John opens with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5). 

And Jesus confirmed who that light was shining in the darkness when he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Light continues to be good, especially now that it has taken a new personality for us—that of Jesus Christ!

“But Men Loved Darkness…”

Seeing the great army of the Philistines caused Saul to fear. And when God didn’t answer his inquiry on what to do, he disguised himself and went to the medium of Endor, along with two of his men, at night. And Saul said to the medium, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you” (1 Samuel 28:8). You see, Saul had put all the mediums and necromancers out of the land at this time, yet he sought one’s help when God didn’t answer him. His disguise and his night trip proved his idolatrous heart condition, seeking his false prophet in the cover of darkness.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to Jesus by night, to ask questions about who Jesus was and to learn more about His message on being born again. Why did he not seek Jesus in the daytime while He was teaching? Probably because Nicodemus didn’t want anyone, especially the Pharisees, to know how Jesus was shining light into his wrong theology!

Jesus said, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:19-21).

The Apostle Paul confirms what darkness does to men when he talks about the futility of their minds: “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:18). This darkened understanding due to the hardness of the heart that the Apostle Paul spoke of clearly brought Pharaoh of the Old Testament to mind. When God brought the last plague, the death of the firstborn, He struck Egypt at midnight, when everyone was asleep. “And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead” (Exodus 12:29-30). The Lord came like a thief in the night, while it was still dark, to bring them punishment. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were lulled by their false thoughts of peace and security.

Light versus Dark(ness)

Continuing the story of the boy Orion, his remark about liking Light made the “night entities” abandon their duties in exchange for work during the day. Dark, now feeling alone and rejected, decided to let Light pass through him. And Dark vanished. 

Let’s pause the story again.

We, the true followers of Jesus, come to the light and are called “children of light, children of day. [We] are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5), for “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). Sin’s curse of death—the darkness—no longer dominates us, for eternal life in Christ reigns over us.

As God’s “chosen people, a royal priesthood,” we are now tasked to tend the lampstand, God’s light shining in us, not by burning olive oil but by “[declaring] the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).  We are constantly reminded to be alert because Jesus, the Bridegroom, will return at any time. We need to make sure that we have “flasks of oil with our lamps” so our lamps will not go out. For without the Holy Spirit living in us and motivating us to do good works, we would just be empty and useless vessels. (You can read the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13).  

Paul warned us believers and followers of Christ—we have the propensity to disobey God’s commands and statutes—when he said, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-11). He continued, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:12-14).

Of course, just like all movies that like to twist the truth, Orion and the Dark celebrate their friendship as Orion gets over his fear and how he and Dark saved everyone from the chaos caused by constant light. 

This is the truth that no one can deny: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). God called light good, and it is and will always be good! For His Son Jesus is the Light of the World!

Photo Credit: ©tomertu

Luisa Collopy is an author, speaker and a women’s Bible study teacher. She also produces Mula sa Puso (From the Heart) in Tagalog (her heart language), released on FEBC Philippines stations. Luisa loves spending time with her family over meals and karaoke!