Like the third and the sixth plague, the ninth plague, the darkness, comes without announcement. Like other plagues, this plague is also a revelation of God’s power against the idols of Egypt. Here the principal god, the sun (Ra), the source of light, warmth and life, is completely overpowered by God’s power and shrouded in darkness. The darkness is so great that it is impossible to see anyone else; it is not even possible to move. In complete darkness, there is no orientation at all.
This plague also occurs in the final judgments on the world (Rev 16:1010Then the fifth [angel] poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain,). It is the plague that strikes the wicked (Job 18:5-65“Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out,
And the flame of his fire gives no light.
6“The light in his tent is darkened,
And his lamp goes out above him.
) and to which, if he dies in his wickedness, there will be no end. He will be endlessly “in the outer darkness” (Mt 8:1212but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”; 2Pet 2:1717These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.; Rev 20:1010And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.).
In this plague we have an illustration of man without God, for he is darkened in the mind (Eph 4:1818being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;). Also his “foolish heart was darkened” (Rom 1:2121For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.). A man without God goes his way by groping. He doesn’t know where he comes from or where he is going. However God can still shine in his heart “to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2Cor 4:66For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.). When the church is raptured, man will be completely delivered to satan and his demons, the powers of darkness.
In one place there is light today and that is with the people of God. That was also the case in Egypt. “But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Spiritually, Christ was that light as the Passover Lamb. During the three days of darkness the Israelites had a lamb in their house (Exo 12:33Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.). This reminds us of Revelation 21, where the new Jerusalem says: “Its lamp [is] the Lamb” (Rev 21:2323And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp [is] the Lamb.). How good it is when Christ, the true Passover (1Cor 5:77Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are [in fact] unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.), is central in the homes of God’s children.
The Lord Jesus is “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12a12Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”). Thus He came into the world. Whereas normally darkness disappears when light comes, the arrival of the Light of the world has proven how great the darkness is, for light has been rejected! However the individual who believes in Him will not abide in darkness (Jn 12:4646I have come [as] Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.). Children of God are also children of light and are therefore called to walk “as children of light” (Eph 5:88for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light).