“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” (Rom 13:12 KJV)
The apostle Paul is talking about daylight and darkness here, but not ordinary days or ordinary darkness. He means the day of the Lord’s return is coming soon; because of that we should discard our old life’s works of evil and prepare for our new daytime assignments. Good religious instruction.
But is that all he means?
I thought about Jesus and his inner circle at the Mount of Transfiguration. “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.” (Mark 9:2)
“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” (Matt. 17:2 NIV)
I thought about Jesus having to assist the Roman soldiers in arresting him. He said, “I am” and they all fell down flat. He patiently waited around until they recovered. (See John 18:6)
In meditating on the concept of armor made of actual light, I started thinking again about an old question:
What exactly is light? And is matter made of the same elemental particles as light?
God himself is light. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) And yet,
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3) Literally “Light be,” meaning Light appear, or Light come into existence.
Before any physical matter came into existence, there was light energy. Scientists who study the “Big Bang” theory accept that, though they can’t explain the initial source of it. See http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/
For a more simplified explanation, see http://www.big-bang-theory.com/
After reading online some explanations and descriptions of quantum mechanics, bosons, elemental particles and other material I couldn’t fathom, I found these comments on the Forbes.com website from 10-9-13 (excerpted):
The Higgs Boson and the Nobel: Why We Call It the ‘God Particle’
The Higgs boson, the subatomic particle that has brought a Nobel Prize to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs, is so small that its discovery took 40 years. It is so big for physics, though, that it took on the nickname the “God particle.” Colleagues theorized in 1964 that there must be something that explains why other particles have mass, why things hold together, why you and I are able to exist. That something is the Higgs boson.
Higgs bosons could be described as making up an invisible field of energy through which other particles fly, slowed by it as it imbues them with mass. Some writers have likened a field of Higgs particles to molasses—except that molasses can be seen with the naked eye and doesn’t decay in a tiny fraction of a second.
Physicians at CERN, the vast European laboratory in the Alps, were successful in discovering the Higgs boson in 2012.
Then I also found this fascinating article online, published last year in Phys.org:
Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter
Sep 25, 2013
Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.
The discovery, Lukin said, runs contrary to decades of accepted wisdom about the nature of light. Photons have long been described as massless particles which don’t interact with each other – shine two laser beams at each other, he said, and they simply pass through one another.
“Photonic molecules,” however, behave less like traditional lasers and more like something you might find in science fiction – the light saber.
“Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other,” Lukin said. “What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules. This type of photonic bound state has been discussed theoretically for quite a while, but until now it hadn’t been observed. ….
Lukin also suggested that the system might one day even be used to create complex three-dimensional structures – such as crystals – wholly out of light.
Continuing his thought about armor, in Romans 13:14 Paul tells us to put on (endue ourselves, clothe our bodies, our spiritual selves with) the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the natural, physical body.
With Jesus as our armor, and the Holy Spirit as our indwelling power source and communicator, we should be able to carry out whatever assignment we’ve been given — no matter what the opposition is. And there will be opposition.
Paul found a lot of opposition as he carried the gospel message to both Jews and Gentiles who didn’t want to hear it. II Corinthians 11:23-28 lists some of it: imprisonment, beaten with rods, given 40 lashes, shipwrecked, adrift in the sea, stoned and left for dead, if not killed… not to mention being “constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”
Yet despite all that, Paul’s biography also includes: “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” (II Cor. 12:12)
“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)
Many believers today face the same violent and brutal opposition, especially in Africa and the Middle East. Many are in prison for their faith. Many have been murdered in recent days. We need God’s armor as much or more today than any other time in history. We need to be equipped as fully and as effectively as Paul was. God provided armor for a reason. He knew we’d need it.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Eph. 6:10) Be strong, we are commanded. Be dynamically empowered with the might that created the universe in the very beginning of everything that exists.
Put on the armor of light, Paul said. Be strong “in the Lord” — i.e. inside the Lord. That’s a very good place to be. That’s the best kind of armor.