How is God the Father of lights (James 1:17)?The title of God being the Father of lights comes from this verse in the book of James: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17). God is the Father of lights because He Himself is light; He is the creator of light and the personification of all that is light.
God is light and He dwells within light (1 Timothy 6:16). First John 1:5 says: "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Symbolically, light represents what is good and darkness represents what is evil (e.g., John 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:4).
God created light in the very beginning of time. It could not exist without Him. In the Bible, the first recorded words God spoke were to create light: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. And God saw that the light was good" (Genesis 1:3–4a). God created the universe—including all of the planets, stars, and galaxies. So, the term Father of lights could be used in a broader sense to refer to God's creation of the lights in the heavens and His lordship over them. This is a possible interpretation, but it is not inherently contained within the original passage.
We are instructed to walk in the light: "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:6–7). Walking in light means that rather than walking in the darkness of sin we are walking in the light of honesty, purity, love, and wisdom. God, the Father of lights, is also our Father if we are His children through faith in Jesus Christ. His light, which can be found within His Word, is our guide (Psalm 119:105). In the book of Revelation, those who dwell in Christ are promised by God that He will be their light (Revelation 22:5). When we dwell and walk with God, His light illuminates our every move.
God is the Father of the lights in the heavens and the Father who provides light in and for us. As the Father of lights, He is the author and perfecter of all that is not darkness. As James 1:17 points out, within God there is "no variation or shadow due to change." Let us not be deceived (James 1:16), but trust in and praise our God, who is the Father of lights and who "brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (James 1:18).
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