“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt — darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.” (Exodus 10:21-23 NIV84)
King David wrote in Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Nature, God’s creation, has a declarative side. God doesn’t just speak through His Word, but He also speaks through His creation. Isn’t that the point of the plagues?! Through the plagues, God let Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians know that He alone is God. But this plague, the plague of darkness, said so much more. God placed the Egyptian people into a darkness that could be felt while His people, the Israelites, lived in light. Read this section of Scripture in Exodus chapter 10 and just listen to how loudly God was speaking. He used nature to make Egypt see the truth. They were living in a darkness that was palpable. They groped in the darkness to do the simplest things while the Hebrews lived normal lives in the light. God was using every resource in His arsenal (even creation) to get the Egyptians and His own people to know that He alone is God.
God uses His creation all the time to speak about spiritual truths. In the New Testament we read that for three hours, while Jesus hung on the cross, “Darkness fell upon the whole earth.” Darkness in the Scriptures always seems to have a negative connotation, and it is no different here. Jesus hung suspended between mankind and God. In that darkness He bore the sins of all humanity as though He committed them Himself. He bore the eternal punishment that those sins deserved. During this time of darkness was the only time that Jesus ever referred to His Father as God rather than Father. From the cross Jesus quoted the Psalms, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath to the last drop in the midst of that darkness, so you and I will never have to. After Jesus said, “It is finished!”, He gave His Spirit into the hands of His Father and the earth quaked. Nature spoke!
I am in awe of how far our Lord will go to make sure we get it! He literally will move heaven and earth in order for us to understand His love and His plan of salvation. My prayer today: May we have ears that can hear!