The Lord our Light
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light…(Revelation 22:5a)”
On the one hand this may sound like a summary of negative affirmations heard in the previous chapter (21:23-27) which alludes to the fact that the effects of sin will be no more. Because we live in a broken world there is joy to be experienced in being told of what will be no more. However, if that’s all we hear from this text we will have missed much. In fact, we will have missed the best of what is announced here.
In this text we are not necessarily being told that there will be no sun or moon, but only that there will be no need for them. The reason why we will have no need for these things is announced in the last line: “for the Lord God will be their light.”
Likely John was thinking of the text in Isaiah 60: “The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory (verse 19).” In addition, John would have been thinking of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6: “the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you… (verse 25).”
When we hear Aaron’s blessing spoken over us, our hearts are filled with longing for His face to shine upon us. It is the longing that was caught up in that old praise song, “Shine Jesus Shine.” These are things that we are right to desire, for this world in which we live, even with a sun and moon, is dark. C.S. Lewis called our present life the “shadowlands” for here we only see shadows and dim reflections of what we will see for all eternity. In these dark days may the LORD make his face to shine upon you, but may you also long for the day when we will have no need for the light of lamp or sun for the Lord God will be our light!