“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“The Father of Lights”
(Please read James 1:17)
The expression, “Father of lights,” appears only this one time in the Bible. We understand that the reference is to God, for it is he who is the giver of every good gift. But what are the “lights” mentioned here?
Several possible answers have been offered. Some think of the lights as the light of truth, the ability to understand the divine arrangements for the salvation of the human family. Others suggest the light of the world, Jesus Christ. And a third possibility is that the reference is to the physical lights of the heavens.
This third view has much to support it since the passage goes on and apparently alludes to the orbiting of heavenly bodies. The last word in the last phrase in our text, “neither shadow of turning” (KJV), comes from a Greek word meaning revolution of the heavenly orbs.
Since we know that the revolution of the planets results in changing degrees of light, giving us day, night and seasons, the illustration becomes clear. God created the sun, moon and stars, which in man’s eyes are solid, enduring and reliable. By God’s direction, they cast variable shadows in their turning. But by contrast, there is no variation with God. He is always faithful, always true, always loving.
In these days of satellites and space stations, humans know much about orbits and shifting shadows. We also know, though, that our orbiting objects have limited service lives and will eventually come down. God’s lights will be there for us until we no longer need them, and we rejoice that our Father will even outlast those great lights.