BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band had a hit song in 1977 called, “Blinded By TheLight.” It was written and originally recorded by Bruce Springteen, but Manfred Mann’s version was the hit. The chorus goes like this: “Blinded by the light. Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.”
I heard it on an oldies station a couple of weeks ago and it reminded me of the Apostle Paul. I don't know if Springteen or the Manfred Mann singers knew anything about Paul's life experience and, based on the rest of the lyrics, I know they were not singing about Paul. But the chorus sure fits Paul’s experience.
Paul, at the time called Saul, first appears in Acts 7:58. Here we see him presiding over the stoning of Stephen. But in chapter 8, he really gets going. We see Saul “revved up like a deuce (a term for what I would call a “muscle car”)” – going full speed after the church. Acts 8:3 (ESV) “But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Acts 9:1-2 (ESV) “But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letter to the synagogues at Damascus so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
Paul was in “full throttle” mode - “pedal to the medal” - running headlong on the path of darkness in persecuting God’s people and thinking he was doing the Lord’s work.
And then, he was “blinded by the light.”
On his way to Damascus, “suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (v.3-4) For three days Saul was blind because of that light he saw.
From then on, Saul worked in the light, for the light by the grace of the Light of this world. In verse 22, we see the effect his transformation had on those he formerly served. “But Saul increased all the more in strength and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.”
He was not just blinded by the light. He was transformed by it.
After spending 40 days and nights in God’s presence, Moses came down from the mountain and kind of confounded the Israelites too. In Exodus 34:29-30, we read: “When Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of stone in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”
Moses glowed with the light that only comes from spending time with God. It is as if Moses was a human moon – reflecting the light of the Son. This was not a light Moses worked up, but it was the light of God shining out through his face. How awesome is that?!
Luke 1:78-79 Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, speaks of the coming light: “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
My life must too become one that confounds others with its light. It must be one that reflects the light of being in God’s presence and brightens the world around me. But it can only happen if I am spending enough time in prayer and study so that my life, my actions, my words, my deeds glow with the presence of the Lord.
I do want to run in the light. I want to shine with God’s glory and reflect His light into this sin-darkened world so that others see through me right into the true Light - Jesus.
Let’s let that light shine out from each of us into this sin-darkened world. Only God’s light is blinding. The light with which we shine is the reflection of Him in us that will light the path for others to find their way to Him.
So, let’s rev up our engines, dear sisters, and go pedal-to-the-medal in the light.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts too. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org