Righteous Light

Series: Proverbs

by D. Marion Clark July 5, 2012 Scripture: Proverbs 4:18

Proverbs 4:18-19

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
Consider these words in light of Ephesians 5:8-14:
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
"Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

James Boice writes:

The bottom line of this discussion is that Christians are to be Gods light in the midst of this worlds darkness. They are to be an enlightening element, and this is to be so precisely because they have first been enlightened. Paul says in verse 8, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

The most important thing about this statement is that Paul does not say merely that before their conversion Christians were in darkness and that now, since their conversion, they are in the light, though that is true. He says something more profound. Before they were darkness, now they are light. He is pointing to a change in them, not merely to a change in their surroundings. Before they were not only in darkness; darkness was in them. And now they not only are in light; they are light and therefore must shine out as lights to their benighted society. That makes all the difference. If it is only a question of seeking the light or living in the light, then Christianity is no different from any other religion or philosophy, and there is no more hope from it than from any of them. But if becoming a Christian involves a change from darkness to light, then the presence of Christians in the world is itself hope as together we stand against the darkness.