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God’s Shadow

When light shines on an object, it casts a shadow. On a sunny day, we can go outside and recognize our shadow. If we see someone else’s shadow, we can’t tell what they look like because those shadows are only dark impressions caused by the light behind them. We can know some things based on the shadow, but we don’t see the real image. 

You may be asking yourself what do shadows have to do with God? John tells us that God is light and in Him is no darkness (1Jn 1:5). However, the scriptures also say that God dwells in thick darkness (1Ki 8:12), and that He made darkness his secret place (Ps 18:11). Is it possible for God, who is all light, to live in darkness? First we need to distinguish what this darkness is speaking about. 

If we look at the word darkness in 1st Kings, the root word is Araph.

In the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible,

it means drop, clouds, as in the dropping of rain from clouds. [1] The word darkness in Psalms is the word Choshek, meaning obscurity or a secret place; figuratively it speaks of ignorance. [2] If we look at the corresponding Greek word for both of these it is Skotos, which speaks of a metaphorical ignorance respecting divine things and human duties. It stems from the word Skia which means shadow; an image cast by an object and representing the form of that object. [3]

So, this darkness where God hides is not a place of wickedness, but a shadowy or secret place. A place of ignorance when we don’t fully see the image of God. It is a place where the Word of God is not fully seen. He dwells in the shadow or secret places, the mysteries of scripture. He wants to show us who He really is and what He looks like, but there must be a removal of the veils that cover His word. It’s in the secret place that He releases revelation to us.

“I will open my mouth in a parable (in instruction by numerous examples); I will utter dark sayings of old [that hide important truth],” (Ps 78:2).

Those parables and dark sayings are the mysteries of the kingdom, the revelatory teachings (rain). Origen, a prominent early church father said: 

“Indeed, if one considers the multitude of speculation and knowledge about God, beyond the power of human nature to take in, beyond the power, perhaps, of all originated beings except Christ and the Holy Spirit, then one may know how God is surrounded with darkness.” [4]

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, the religious leaders, saying they searched and investigated the Scriptures diligently, thinking they had eternal life through them. Those very Scriptures were a testimony of Him, and they still refused to come to Him to have life (Jn 5:39-40). These people knew the word of God, having the Torah memorized, yet Jesus told them they were in darkness. They couldn’t see the Word was Him and He is the Light because they were reading the word with a veil on. Paul said:

“In fact, their minds were grown hard and calloused [they had become dull and had lost the power of understanding]; for until this present day, when the Old Testament (the old covenant) is being read, that same veil still lies [on their hearts], not being lifted [to reveal] that in Christ it is made void and done away. Yes, down to this [very] day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their minds and hearts” (2Co 3:14-15 AMP)

This is why there has to be a removal of the veils. We’ll never be able to see the true image with veils on. You could never see where you were going if you walked around with a blindfold on. The same is true with the Word of God; the veils over the scriptures prevent us from seeing the deeper and symbolic meaning beneath the surface of the letter. It isn’t just knowing there lies deeper things in the Word, it is the very heart of the Father that is hidden in the shadows that He wants to reveal to each of us. Paul said a true circumcision starts with the heart. We must get rid of the flesh or fat from our heart; the things that prevent us from becoming closer to God. We were never meant to just receive Jesus into our hearts, we were meant to become like Jesus. He tells us that we were formed in His image and likeness (Gen 1:26). If we don’t clearly see the image of God, how are we going to know if we look like Him?

Being in the shadow doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The shadow of God is a place of learning as we all start out in darkness or ignorance. The issue is what do you do when the revelation (light) is released to you? Jesus said the light had come to the world, but men loved darkness more than the light because their deeds were evil. Those that do evil hate light because their deeds are exposed ( Jn 3:19-20). Remember the darkness is that place of ignorance of the truth of God or His Word. So when the revelation of Christ comes, it forces us to look at the flesh we live in and how we see things. Do our actions really line up to God’s truth or have we twisted/manipulated the scriptures to fit our lifestyles? The revelation should convict us and bring us back to the light so we can walk in righteousness or right understanding. The light comes to reveal the true Jesus, and we have to examine if we have been following a false image of Him. 

There is a difference between man’s theology of God and who God says He is through the revelation of His Word. When Paul spoke to the church in Corinth, he said the god of the world had blinded the minds of the unbelievers [that they should not discern the truth] and it prevented them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image and likeness of God (2 Co 4:4 AMP). Everything in heaven is an image of the Father, therefore, in order to take on the Father’s image, we must step from the shadows into the light.

“For we were once in darkness, but now are we light in the Lord; walk as children of Light” (Eph 5:8). 

“When God reveals who He is, it becomes an impartation to us,” (Apostle Michael Petro).

Everytime the veil is removed and we receive the impartation, it changes and transforms our minds. The Word tells us with every unveiling, we behold the glory of the Lord, and are being transformed into that image from glory to glory ( 1Co 3:18). 

“But we, the eyes of whose soul have been opened by the Word, and who see the difference between light and darkness, prefer by all means to take our stand ‘in the light,’ and will have nothing to do with darkness at all.” [5]

References:

  1. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible Dictionary 
  2. Brown Driver Briggs Dictionary
  3. Thayer Bible Dictionary
  4. Origen, Commentary on John Bk II Ch 23
  5. Origen, Against Celsus Bk VI Ch LXVII


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