The Deep Well with Erin Davis Podcast

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Episode 1: When You're Threatened by Darkness

Erin Davis: Hey, Laura, do you remember any specific times you watched an eclipse?

Laura Booz: I do. I remember the one in 2017. It was so built up in the news; everybody was talking about it everywhere for weeks and weeks. I remember getting out there, stopping everything, having some kind of little ocular device, and it was so underwhelming, I couldn’t believe it.

Erin: Well, that’s a bummer!

Laura: Yes!

Erin: An underwhelming eclipse is not the kind we like. But at least you remembered it!

Laura: Yes, it made it memorable.

How about you?

Erin: Yes, I love eclipses, and I can remember lots and lots of eclipses. The most memorable one that I can think of is when I was in labor with Eli, my first baby. We had to drive two hours to the hospital to have him, and there was a lunar eclipse happening in the sky while we were driving. So I would kind of peek my head out the window, watch the phases of the eclipse, peek my head back in, have a contraction or two . . . But I also remember feeling like, My boy is being born in the midst of this really cosmic event! I still love to tell him that he was born during a lunar eclipse.

Laura: Yes, that is really profound. What a way to come into the world!

Erin: Right.

Laura: Well, there’s no doubt about it that eclipses in our solar system are a big deal, because they can be very dramatic. Sometimes I think they help us understand things that go on in our emotional lives as well. Don’t you think sometimes we experience emotional eclipses, where suddenly something happens and it just seems so dark and different than the light we were previously walking in?

Erin: Absolutely. That picture of the darkness overwhelming or eclipsing or overtaking the light. Once I started looking for it, I recognize that feeling in myself, frankly, pretty frequently, but I think we have that experience pretty often.

Laura: That’s what we’re going to be talking about this whole season of The Deep Well with Erin Davis. I’m Laura Booz, cohost of this season. 

Erin has gone through the Bible looking for examples of eclipses. There are always times in our lives when it feels like the darkness is overcoming the light, and God’s Word has a lot to say about that kind of eclipse. Here’s Erin to teach us more.

Erin: I’m calling this season of The Deep Well “Eclipses,” and that’s because we’re going to be looking at places in Scripture where, metaphorically, it seemed like the darkness was going to overwhelm or eclipse the light. 

I’d love to tell you where that idea came from. I was cleaning my house late one night, as moms of four small children tend to do. It was dark outside, and it was dark inside. Two parallel eclipses were happening in my heart, in my mind. I was fighting the feeling that the darkness was going to overwhelm me.

The first one was big—like a solar eclipse, where the sun is blotted out. I was feeling the weight of everything that was happening in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic was raging, and nobody knew how long it was going to last or how long it was going to impact us or if our own families were going to get the virus and die. I felt the weight of that.

Then there’s always something scary happening in geopolitics, and though I try to look at those things through the grid of hope, there are times where it just doesn’t feel hopeful. I felt scared, and it felt dark.

The things that are happening in the world impact us. They were impacting me that day. But I think sometimes where we really worry that the darkness is going to win, that it’s going to push out the light in our lives, is when there is something happening that’s more personal. For me that night, I was feeling the tension of something I’ve taught about before and I will probably teach about many more times, because it is something that God is using in my life to make me acutely aware of my need for Him.

That’s the second eclipse that was happening in my heart that day: my mom’s Alzheimer’s. I was worrying, as I have worried many times since this journey began and will probably worry many more times, that the hard part of this journey was going to eclipse the many, many wonderful years I’ve had with my mom. I also worry that the darkness of the disease of dementia—and it is a dark disease—is going to cover over the light of her life.

As I was feeling those two eclipses in my heart, that worry, that the darkness was going to overcome the light in the world and that darkness was going to overcome the light of my mom’s life, I knew what to do, because I’ve had to do it so many times. I knew I needed to get to the place—the only place—where we can run to to grab on for tangible hope when we’re worried that the darkness is going to overcome us, and that’s God’s Word.

Right there, with my kitchen half mopped and my hair in a ponytail, I did grab my Bible, and I started looking for times in Scripture where it must have felt like the darkness was winning. Now, these weren’t actual celestial events recorded in Scripture, but these were times where I thought people must have been feeling what I’m feeling. They must have been worried that the darkness was going to overwhelm the light.

As I started looking for those stories, I didn’t have to look far, but I remembered something really important: that the light of Christ cannot be eclipsed. That’s true in my life, it’s true in your life. The light of Christ cannot be eclipsed in our world, no matter how dark it seems. That’s true now, and it will always be true. The light of Christ can never, ever, ever be eclipsed.

I’m giving away the punch line, and I need to, because I need reminders and you need reminders that Jesus is the light. And more than that, we need reminders that Jesus will always be the light, and the light of Jesus is always going to shine.

I waited too long to say some really important words: open your Bible and turn to Genesis chapter 3. That’s where we’re going to park together in this episode of The Deep Well. So go ahead and put your ribbon there, put your pen there; mark it somehow. But before we jump into Genesis chapter 3, I need to jump back very quickly to the beginning—the beginning of the beginning, Genesis 1:1–2. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

I don’t know why I never paid attention to this before I was preparing to teach this, but as I was reading in Genesis, this hit me like a beam of light, that before there was light, there was darkness. I think the reason why that struck me is because I tend to think that all darkness is bad, and that’s not what we see here in Genesis 1. This wasn’t a scary, oppressive darkness. This wasn’t spiritual darkness. We’re going to get to that very quickly in Genesis chapter 3. But what is happening here in Genesis 1 is just a plain physical darkness.

I don’t know the answer to the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” But I do know the answer to the question, “Which came first, the darkness or the light?” The answer is the darkness, a voidness, a nothingness. Well, that’s not true. It was nothing but God. And then God created the light.

Since God created the light, God is the keeper of the light, and God is the keeper of the darkness, which means that God is sovereign over even the darkness. That’s really important for us to remember as we flip just a page over to Genesis chapter 3, because what happens in Genesis chapter 3 is that the wheels of humanity fly right off.

I don’t want to discount Genesis 2; it’s the inspired Word of God, and it’s important as we understand the fall of man here in Genesis chapter 3. So what happened in Genesis chapter 2 is that God gave Adam one command—not ten commands, one single command God gave to Adam. We find it in Genesis 2:16–17. 

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat it you shall surely die."

That takes us to Genesis 3. I’m going to read us a chunk of Scripture here. I’m going to read to us Genesis 3:1–7. When you listen to The Deep Well, though I love to picture you listening as you’re driving in the carpool or heading to your first class for the day, I also really want you to have your Bible handy as you listen, so that you can follow along as we read God’s Word. Listen and follow along as I read Genesis 3:1–7.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

I realize that might sound pretty Sunday-school-friendly as you listen to it. This origin story is so ingrained into our collective consciousness that we rarely give it a second thought. But The Deep Well exists to help you know and love your whole Bible and to see how it all connects, and so much of Scripture can be traced back right here to this moment. 

While I love that Genesis 3 is familiar to many of us, I also want us to see how foundational it is to our understanding of who we are, who God is, how sin works, why our world is the way that our world is. While I’m glad we tell this story to our children—I also want us to see this is not a fairytale, this is ground zero.

Any of us old enough to remember September 11, 2001 have a reference point for Ground Zero. After the Twin Towers fell in New York City following the terrorist attacks of September 11, Ground Zero was just a massive pile of concrete and rebar. It was a place of destruction. But that’s not a dark enough description of what Ground Zero was. Under all of that rubble lay the bodies of more than a thousand people. Of the 2,753 people who were killed in that terrorist attack, the remains, the bodies of 1,113 people were never recovered, never identified.

I was reading about one family that never got to see the body of their beloved, and how traumatizing that has been. There’s no grave for them to visit. They know he’s surely dead, but they didn’t get to see the evidence of it. He was buried under the weight of that dark act.

That’s graphic, and I want it to be graphic as we look at Genesis 3, because what we see here in this passage is not a snake talking to a woman who eats an apple—it is that, but it is so much more than that. It goes so far beyond that. This is not a cartoon story, with a cartoon Adam and Eve having fig leaf underwear on. This is humanity’s ground zero.

It’s true that there was a terrorist in this story, too. When the serpent convinced Adam and Eve to rebel against God, when it just took a few words to convince them that God didn’t want what was best for them and they sinned against the one command God had given them, that was terrorism. But it was worse than the terrorism attack I just described, because Adam and Eve participated. They weren’t victims. It didn’t take them long to become co-conspirators in rebelling against God’s command. In choosing not to trust Him even though He had given them only reasons to trust Him, they chose to rebel against Him. The total death toll of sin entering the world through their act of sin may never be fully known to us. How many bodies, how many lives are buried under the weight of this single terrorist act that happens in Genesis 3?

So it was a dark day. In fact, other than the crucifixion, I think it was the darkest day in all of human history. It was certainly the darkest day that human history had known so far.

I want us to step away from ground zero for a minute. I want us to head to Romans chapter 5:12–14. Even here, we’re not going to wrap our minds and hearts around the full gravity of the fall of man, but we get some sense for how this sent shockwaves out past Adam and Eve and into all of mankind. Romans 5:12-14 says, 

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 

You see, sin and death are forever enmeshed together, and here in Romans, Paul is telling us that when sin entered the world through Adam, it was a portal for death to rush in, and now death dogs all of the children of Adam.

Even though we’ve heard it a lot . . . Maybe you’re listening to this and you’ve never heard Genesis 3, and that thrills me; The Deep Well is for you. Even if you’ve heard Genesis 3 a lot of times, we need to hear it again, because it is not about an apple and it is not about Adam and Eve. This is a really dark moment. This is the moment that sin entered the sin-free world that God created. 

That matters because sin always brings death. This isn’t just where sin entered the world, but where death entered the world. So what? Why does that matter? Because it’s only in this understanding of the true weight of our sin, the true consequences of our sin, that we would ever turn our hearts to Jesus in the first place. 

As much as we’d rather avoid it, it’s in continuing to look hard into the dark face of sin that we live lives of gratitude for all that God has rescued us from. He’s rescued us from death, and it’s only when we look at Genesis 3 and realize the gravity of just a single sin here—Adam and Eve violated one of God’s commands. I imagine I’ve violated millions of them—and the devastation was total. When we read our Bibles and see that truth for the first time, or again and again and again and again, that’s what motivates us to run from sin and not to toy with it.

I want to pick it up at Genesis 3:8. What happens here is that God and His children have an interaction. As I read it, it sounds so much like an interaction that I’ve had with my own children hundreds of times. God said essentially, “What did you do?” Adam and Eve said essentially, “He did it,” or, “She did it.” That’s exactly how it goes in the Davis house! “What did you do?” It’s always another brother’s fault.

We see those sinful patterns right here in the lives of our foreparents at ground zero. God listened, and then God handed down punishment. He had to. Every good parent knows He had to. Sin can’t go unpunished, and that was true in the Garden of Eden with the first sin, and it’s true right now in our lives.

So the serpent was cursed to slither, and Eve was cursed with contractions and cravings, and Adam was cursed to fruitless labor. I always think it’s interesting that work was not a result of the curse, but fruitless work is. Adam was forced to work the ground, and it wasn’t going to produce fruit for him like it had before the Fall.

As God is handing down that curse to Adam with Eve and the serpent in earshot, he gives Adam a death sentence, and it’s a concept that Adam couldn’t have understood before God spoke these words. In Genesis 3:19, God said, 

For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Where God had created only life, now there would be so much death.

But this was not a total eclipse. Darkness and sin and death did not win this day. Adam and Eve and the serpent did face dire consequences, and you and I and everyone we know and love, we have consequences for our sin. But just as the darkness was about to push out the light, we see grace. I’m going to read to us Genesis 3:20–21.

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Isn’t that odd? Eve did not have a name before this moment. There was no need to distinguish her, because she was the only woman in all creation. But I do want you to picture this moment like a lunar eclipse. I want you to imagine that the moon is almost totally covered in darkness; there’s just a sliver of light poking out from behind that shadow, and then Adam speaks out. He says, “Wait! Her name is Eve, for she is going to be a mother of the living.” Her name means life-giver, and it was given to her the moment that death was proclaimed over mankind.

Adam was saying, “There is still life here. We didn’t die. God didn’t strike us dead the second we took a bite.” There is hope even at the epicenter of sin.

Genesis 3:21 is exceedingly precious. What I hope The Deep Well does for your own personal Bible study is that as you study Scripture—all of Scripture—you start seeing the gospel everywhere, because the gospel is everywhere, including here in Genesis 3:21. 

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin and clothed them. 

There it is, the gospel. In one of humanity’s darkest moments, instead of burial clothes, which Adam and Eve deserved, God tenderly clothed His children in animal skins, and He wrapped them right up in His mercy and grace.

He didn’t have to. He could have called them a failed experiment, and He could have gone back to the perfect unity of that dark, deep void. But from the very first man, from the very first woman, what we see in the character of God is that He chose to push back against the darkness of sin. He chose to push back against the darkness of death. How did He do it? With the light of His goodness and His grace.

That’s what He does over and over and over and over. All of history is this eclipse repeated—sin threatening to eclipse the light of God’s goodness, and God pushing back against that with His grace.

I wonder if you ever worry that your sin’s going to consume your life, or if you ever worry that someone else’s sin is going to consume your marriage or your church or where you work. If so—and I think the answer has to be yes—then Genesis 3 is a place to run for hope. There, what we see is there are consequences, but we are not blotted out by our own sin, and that the light of hope is always there, pushing back.

Maybe you’ve been listening to this podcast episode, and you see what happened in Genesis 3; you see the devastation of it. You even see God’s mercy in that moment, but you’re still feeling like I did when I was cleaning the house and everything I felt said that the darkness was winning.

Here’s where I landed that day. It wasn’t that everything in the world suddenly got peaceful and calm; it didn’t. The Lord didn’t choose that day and hasn’t chosen since to heal my mom’s darkening mind. But what I see in Genesis 3 is what He did choose. He did choose to do what it takes to clothe Adam and Eve—not just physically clothe them, but to clothe them in His grace, to clothe them in His righteousness. He did what it takes then in the garden, and He does what it takes now to push back the darkness of our lives.

Again, that didn’t change my circumstances, but it did give me hope, and it gave me eyes to see that the light was there all along. I hope it gives you hope, too. And I hope it causes you to run to the Bible for yourself and see the Light of the world in its pages.

Laura: Throughout this entire season of The Deep Well, Erin is going to be taking us to Scripture specifically to see the light of Christ during the eclipses of our lives. But right now, we get a couple more minutes with Erin. She’s going to join us unscripted. I’m going to throw questions her way and she’s going to answer off the cuff. Erin, are you with us?

Erin Unscripted

Erin: I’m ready.

Laura: Okay. Well, here’s a big one; coming right out of the gate with this one. You talked a lot about the dynamic of darkness and light. I’m just wondering if you can walk me through a helpful definition of darkness.

Erin: Whew, you are coming in hot! I think there are different definitions of darkness, different kinds of darkness. The one we’re most familiar with is physical darkness. You turn off the light when you go to bed and it gets . . . dark. Simply an absence of light.

But the more I’ve studied eclipses in Scripture, the more I think that even the thing that seems so basic of light and dark, is pointing us to something bigger. In this series, when I’m talking about darkness, I think some synonyms we could use there are: evil, sin, death, depravity, Satan—those things that war against Jesus, good, His glory, His holiness. I don’t know that I have a super succinct, Merriam-Webster definition, but I think light represents everything that God represents, and darkness represents everything He doesn’t.

Laura: That is really helpful, because sometimes I can find myself assuming darkness is just circumstances I don’t like, or cultural trends that make me feel uncomfortable, or natural disasters, or suffering. What you’re saying is much more biblically defined, and God is the plumbline.

Erin: He is.

Laura: He’s the standard there. He’s the light switch determining what is darkness, what is light. So I’m very glad you’re going to be taking us to His Word to see that and to understand it better.

Okay, let’s see, here is another big question for you. I want to know, when we’re talking about the eclipse as a metaphor, what part do we play in the grand eclipse of darkness warring against God’s light? Are we just observing it and kind of putting our hope in the fact that God’s light will overcome? Do we make it happen one way or the other? Where are we in this story?

Erin: I think it’s layered. I think when I first thought of this series I thought, This is a pretty simple conceptdarkness and light.Darkness pushes back against the light but it can’t win. But as I’ve been studying these passages that we’re going to unpack in this series, I think there are layers to it. I think the eclipse so often happens in our hearts, where we cooperate with the darkness, in a way, when we choose to sin, when we invite darkness, evil to push against the light that we are. The Bible says we’re children of the light, but the Bible also says, “Walk as children of the light,” meaning sometimes we have to remember that’s who we are.

I think there’s the darkness which the Bible calls “the powers of darkness,” Satan and the demons. That’s one kind of darkness, and they are wreaking havoc and seeking to push back against the light regardless of what you and I do. But there’s darkness in each of us; we call it sin, we call it our sin nature. So it is something we watch happen, but it is something we participate in happening. In this episode, as we were talking about what happened in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did invite darkness into the world by choosing to sin, and we replicate that in some way.

Of course, there’s a bigger, more cosmic light, and that is Jesus, the Light, and we’re ultimately pointing toward Him. He’s going to do what He’s going to do regardless of what I do, but I want to be on the side of the light; that’s for sure.

Laura: Let’s take those ideas and bring them back into your kitchen. You said you were mopping the floor and all the things were coming to mind, the problems of the world that worried you and even life with your mom, who has dementia. I’m wondering, Once you are thinking about the truth of God’s Word and you are remembering the light, you’re remembering Jesus and turning to Him, how does that affect you in real time? Let’s say especially when it comes to life with your mom, because you’re with her day in, day out. She has your heart, your attention, your time, your tears. What does it look like to choose to walk in the light when it comes to life with your mom?

Erin: Well, on the hardest days with my mom, of which there are many right now because of where she is in the Alzheimer’s journey, it can feel like, “This is it. This is the story of my mom’s life, this is the story of my relationship with my mom. It’s just this hard. It’s just this painful.” That’s what that eclipse feeling feels like, I think. It feels like all the good is being pushed out by this one bad thing.

In that moment where I thought, This is like an eclipse. It feels like darkness is going to win here, because—the Lord could do anything. He could speak right now and her brain could be totally healed; it doesn’t seem to be that that’s what He’s choosing for her. So the reality that I face with my mom is that she’s going to get worse and worse and worse and worse. It’s going to get harder and harder and harder, and then she’s going to die. That feels to me like those phases of an eclipse—darker, darker, darker, darker still. But I trust that God is is who He’s always going to be, and that there is going to be a point when the light is going to win. That’s true on every level of that situation. I need to realize, no, I have a living hope, and His name is Jesus. I’m going to choose to trust in Him.

Laura: That reminds me of Romans 8, Erin. I hope that this encourages you and anyone listening who is in a similar circumstance where things seem dark.

Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (v. 18).

Erin: Amen.

Laura: Today’s program illustrated something we like to say on this podcast, that the Bible is a deep well. You can drop down your bucket and pull up truth every time, can’t you, Erin?

Erin: You absolutely can.

Laura: You’ve been dropping that bucket and exploring deep truths about light and darkness. This is not the end, right? How many episodes are in this season?

Erin: This is just the beginning! Six episodes are in the “Eclipses” season.

Laura: Well, we have released all of those episodes so you can explore the topic as fast as you like, or you can take your time. They’ll be there for you. To make sure you hear every episode, be sure to subscribe to The Deep Well podcast, or you can always visit ReviveOurHearts.com/TheDeepWell

Erin, what are we going to hear on the next episode?

Erin: We’re going to look at another eclipse. This one’s found in 2 Kings 24–25. It’s when God’s people were carried away in exile.

The Deep Well is a production of Revive Our Hearts, calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Teacher

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

About the Host

Laura Booz

Laura Booz

Laura Booz is the author of Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God's Good Gifts in Motherhood and the host of the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the beautiful ways God is working in your life. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan, and their six children. Meet her at LauraBooz.com.