Lighthouses have always been a comfort to those that see them. Lighthouses have been around since ancient times. The most famous was the lighthouse of Alexandria on the Nile River Delta. It was built between 280-247 BC almost three hundred years before Christ was born. It is estimated to have stood 330 feet high and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Lighthouses have two basic purposes—to provide navigational assistance and to warn of the dangers in the water.
Light is something that naturally serves those two purposes. John talks about Jesus as, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). The word comprehend literally means that the darkness couldn’t overtake the light. John also wrote, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9). He sets out the two purposes of light at the very beginning of his letter—to shine into the darkness and to enlighten, or make known, to every man.
We might ask ourselves, are we continuing that same practice? Are we being the lighthouses along the shore? Are we keeping the lower lights burning? We have been told to be lights. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16). When we became Christians, we were “called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). For this reason, John warns us again, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).
God has supplied everything for us to be able to shine that light into the darkness. If we have been made a part of His light, then we know enough to shine that light and warn others. This is not an optional action on our part. Light can’t help but shine. So, we are light, or we are darkness. We shine when we live righteous lives before men (Eph. 5:11-16). We are to warn and help them not make a wreck of their lives. If we are to be true lighthouses, we cannot move, we remain constant, and we shine as bright as possible. We should be monoliths of truth. We should never do anything that would dim our ability to shine.