Before time began...

In Genesis 1 it tells us, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." When I read this in the past, I used to wonder what it was like for God before creation, and because of this verse about darkness being over the face of the deep, I imagined a vast space of darkness and God not just hovering but living there. (Where did God live before time, before creation? Did He create His kingdom of heaven or did it exist within who He is all along?) I don't know the answer to these questions because God doesn't tell us, but it occurred to me today that it is not possible for God to live in darkness, because God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. How could God have dwelt in darkness if He himself is Light?

When you skip ahead to the end of the Bible, in Revelation, we see a picture of a throne in heaven (I love word pictures) surrounded by a rainbow of light and color. "...a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald....from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder." (Beautiful and awesome!)

So did God live in this palatial place from the start? Since God has no beginning or end but we do, it is impossible to grasp beyond what our finite mind can conceive. But God's light is, just as surely as He is. Jesus hinted at this glory, which surely includes His light, when he was about to return to heaven to be with His Father. Jesus said, "And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." So the glory, which probably incorporates light, existed in God before the world came into being.

Another evidence of God's glory and His light comes in Exodus 33, where Moses asked God, "Please, show me your glory." But God told him, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." Instead, God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered Moses with His hand, letting Moses see his back, but not His face. And yet even from behind, the glory of God shown so brightly that when Moses came down the mountain with the rewritten 10 commandments, his face shone with it. Moses has to wear a veil over his face to speak with the people who were simply not used to such a scary glow.

Revelation also reminds us that, "The city (God's kingdom) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb (Jesus) is its lamp." And later it adds, "The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light."

God could never have lived in darkness even before He created light. The world He created for us, began in darkness, until He created light for us to live by. That light (the sun and moon and stars) is good and needed here, but when time ends and His kingdom of light lives on to infinity, the created light will no longer be necessary. Then those who love God will live within God's glory, in His light forever.


PersonalJill Eileen Smith