Sitting in Darkness but Seeing the Light

“You, O Lord, make darkness, and it is night…”  (Psalm 104:20)

“... the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  (Matthew 4:16-17)

All that exists, even darkness, is made by God.  God is the Creator of all things – both the visible and the invisible.  Darkness is part of the created order and is not some power outside of God or even opposed to God.  Darkness plays a role in salvation.  St Macarius says:

“I say to you, my child, if Moses had not entered the darkness, he would not have been given the tablets of the covenant written by the finger of God [Ex 19–23].”   (St. Macarius The Spirit Bearer: Coptic Texts Relating To Saint Macarius, Kindle Location 2936-2939)

Isaiah had prophesied:

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.  (Is 29:18)

Out of the darkness the blind will see – which is what St Paul claims is fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord:

For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.   (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The image which St Paul describes surprises us for God doesn’t shine into the darkness but out of it.  Even the darkness serves God’s will and purpose.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to You, [O Lord];
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to You.

(Psalms 139:11-12)