In the nonphysical realm, darkness symbolizes several things: falsehoods, lies, a cloak for wickedness, ignorance, a place where the influence of evil is dominant, and the absence of understanding.
The symbol is a good one because all of us have probably experienced trying to get around in a dark room. I can recall being deep in an underground cave with a group of teenagers on a spelunking activity. We doused all the lights and were completely still for a few minutes. The blackness was so intense that we began to get nervous. It was not possible (in fact, it was dangerous!) to try to make a move. We did not enjoy that experience of darkness.
Why then, do people seem to seek darkness in knowledge and understanding (John 3:19 John 3:19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
American King James Version×)? Why choose ignorance when knowledge opens so many doors?
There often seems to be an unseen force or power that entices the human mind. We have a strong inner desire to stand on our own two feet—to come to our own conclusions—to try various new things whether right or wrong. We are driven by curiosity—a desire to look over the edge—or get as close to the edge as possible. Some find it hard to accept the values of those who have lived before them unless they are forced to. Some people are born into caste systems and are trained from birth to remain as they are and avoid seeking other ways.
Others, however, have come to the realization that darkness is a terrible hindrance. Darkness—that is, ignorance—makes life far less than it could be.
Israel’s experience with darkness
Israel saw a great light through Moses, but it seems they loved the darkness of Egypt. Amos 5:25-27 Amos 5:25-27  Have you offered to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
 But you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.
 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, said the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.
American King James Version×tells us Israel carried the idols of Egypt for the full 40 years in the wilderness.
Why is it so difficult to give up a system that afflicts you and causes you to be a servant? Why desire to return to a nation that made life difficult and killed your firstborn sons? Why remain in a condition of slavery when freedom beckons?
God took Israel out of Egypt with tremendous miracles and wonders. He literally ripped them from the grasp of Pharaoh. The crossing of the Red Sea alone ought to have been enough for them to change their ways. Forty years of bread from heaven and their clothes not wearing out should have shown the benefits of following this new way. But Israel only made a few feeble attempts to use the light that God offered.
God offered wealth, self respect, the benefits of His blessings and the praise of other nations if they would conform to His way of life. In some ways, we all conform to something, and the choices can be boiled down to only two: God’s way or Satan’s way.
C.S. Lewis wrote: “There are only two kinds of people in the end—those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”
Paul wrote about this in Romans 6:16-18 Romans 6:16-18  Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?  But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.
American King James Version×. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Sin offers only sorrow, misery and death while righteousness offers happiness, joy and eternal life. How can humans be so blind? Yet unless God opens one’s eyes, we truly are blind to this difference and easily drawn back into the path of sorrow as Israel was.
The light will counteract the darkness
John 3:19-21 John 3:19-21  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are worked in God.
American King James Version×tells us that when Jesus Christ (who was the “light”) came into the world, people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. All who practice evil hate the light, and only those who live by the truth enjoy the light because they want their deeds or resistance to evil to be seen by God. It seems we learn to naturally cover up our errors and sins from the time we are quite small. We hide our mistakes in darkness and hope people will forget that we have done something wrong.
God did not permit Israel to return to Egypt in the physical sense, but He did allow them to bask in the evils of Egypt wherever they were. God allows freedom of choice, but He always remains in control. Choosing evil or sin cuts us off from the blessings of God and from walking with Him (Isaiah 59:2 Isaiah 59:2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
American King James Version×).
Just as Jesus Christ was the “light” to this world (John 1:4-5 John 1:4-5  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
American King James Version×, 9-10) and was rejected by most people, so, too, the continuation of this truth goes on and all too often is rejected. People did not recognize the light or its significance. John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
American King James Version×tells us that receiving that “light” gives us the right to become children of God. The “light” is blinding in one sense. We may not be able to recognize the huge benefits of learning to walk in that light and may once again fade away into darkness. Romans 8:16-18 Romans 8:16-18  The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
American King James Version×reveals Paul’s conclusion as inspired by God. He understood he could become a child of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ and be filled with glory. He felt that no darkness, no matter how enticing in this world, was as worthwhile as that.
God allows this world to remain in darkness for the present time. Revelation 21:23-24 Revelation 21:23-24  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.
American King James Version×tells us that there will be no need of a sun or moon when Almighty God dwells with men. His light will be so bright that there will be no night. Revelation 22:5 Revelation 22:5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×again states that there will be no night when God is with His creation. Darkness, which represents the thoughts and actions of Satan, will be erased for all time. The law of God will be taught everywhere (Isaiah 2:2-3 Isaiah 2:2-3  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.  And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
American King James Version×), and His truth will fill the minds of mankind. Humans will learn to love the light because they will understand that their evil deeds can be forgiven through Jesus Christ, and they no longer have any need to hide them. People will be reminded of the afflictions they have been brought out of, and for all eternity they will not want to go that way again.
The forces of darkness are still actively trying to win the minds of humans. Without the shield and protection God offers, we do not have any chance against the ruler of darkness (Ephesians 6:13-16 Ephesians 6:13-16  Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
American King James Version×). But God does not leave us defenseless or without help. He loves those who freely and joyfully serve and obey Him. Part of the plan of God is to develop character within His children such that they will always choose His way and reject sin. If we resist Satan he must flee from us (James 4:7 James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
American King James Version×). This is the boundary God has placed on him.
The sooner we realize that God already knows our thoughts, the sooner we can learn to be open with Him. We will love the light and hate the darkness. The influence of darkness will no longer drive our actions and we will love light—His light.
To learn more about the light of God’s truth, request our free booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom.