“Darkness” is a word that relates to not being aware of the consequences of sin and not seeing a need for the dormancy of sin. The Light of the Holy Spirit is not there which leaves those in darkness in a miserable state of affliction. Affliction being the consequences of their way of life without the Living God. In other words, darkness is a separation from the Spirit of Life, God’s Spirit, and leads to spiritual death. Dimness doesn’t sound quite as bad as darkness, and it is written that they were lightly afflicted for that dimness. For those dwelling in great darkness and even the shadow of death, they suffered a more grievous affliction. BUT, a Great Light has come into the darkness of the kingdom of this world, Christ Jesus is that Light, sent to us from the Kingdom of God! As written in Matthew 4:16, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
We can be afflicted in our personal lives in various degrees, depending on whether we live in dimness or great darkness in the shadow of death. Many people live on the verge of death everyday because of mental, emotional, and physical afflictions. Suicide and drug overdoses are definitely afflictions occurring in the shadow of death. Their soul and spirit totally shuts out God’s Spirit of Life. Some people tempt their own fate in many ways relating to physical habits, but they heed the advice of the Holy Spirit to some extent to try to keep themselves from harm. Their affliction is lighter than death. There are people who risk physical injury through violence and unstable behavior more than others, but both dim and dark alike need to see the Light at the Cross of Christ. Social hostility can exist so strong that it puts a person in the shadow of death, or that social hate can be lesser to the extent that they are just annoying to others. Whether lightly afflicted or grievously afflicted, we all need to see the Light of God’s Love.
In the darkness found in the shadow of death there is no consciousness of the Living God, the Cross of Christ, or the Light of the Holy Spirit. Some people have a slight knowledge of God and tend to follow goodness enough to protect them in some way. Our words and behavior reveal whether we identify with a lifestyle lived in the shadow of death or whether we live a relatively more domesticated life. One might defiantly join a weapon toting anti-government group, while others with lighter darkness joins “peaceful” protests against government. Whether in the darkness within the shadow of death or a lighter darkness, we still need to see the Light that what Christ Jesus did for us on the Cross is the solution. The solution is not found in the kingdom of this world, but the solution flows from the Kingdom of God, through the Spirit of Christ. It is recorded that Christ Jesus brought that Great Light, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Here’s the interesting part of the wording in the King James Version, the nation was multiplied but the joy was not increased! Does anyone else have the feeling that there is some unwritten law against smiling, extending positive social connections, and overall joyfulness of spirit? Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and only when our spirit and soul is open to the Spirit of Christ can we experience that unspeakable and unexplainable Joy! Meanwhile, politicians tout there own country as being multiplied, blessed, thriving, prosperous, and economically in a sound position. Their gloating and rejoicing is as men of war celebrating the plundering of a nation which they have conquered. This gloating takes place in the light of a national drug epidemic that continues to worsen; poverty is rampant; terrorism continues to steal, kill, and destroy; socially, countries are in chaos; people have no respect for others and even thrive on disparagement; and people seem to be barred from identifying with the solution that is found in the Cross of Christ Jesus! The nation is multiplied but joy is not increased, their rejoicing is like men celebrating a victory in war!
Amidst the joyless nation there is the gloating of victorious governments! BUT, the people are wising up! As it is written, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Part of that Light is the Joy of the Lord. That joy comes into our life when there is dormancy of vices and addictions; there is inactivity of conflict, violence, and internal instability; the hostility we might feel is made to do nothing in our words and deeds towards others; disparaging others becomes dormant and decreasing our ego transpires; we begin to identify with the Great Light that shines in the evil darkness within the kingdom of this world! What Christ Jesus did for us on the Cross is to put our sinful nature into dormancy, to render it inactive, and to make it to do nothing! As sin washes away, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit fills us with Liberty of the Spirit, and gives us that immeasurable Peace and Joy. We are set apart from the kingdom of this world to fellowship with the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is coming soon!
Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord!
“Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.”
“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”