Psalm 27 v1 (NKJV)
1. The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
In today’s Sunday Note I would like to discuss one of my favourite Psalms. I actually have countless favourite Psalms, because so many are so beautiful! Psalm 27, and this verse especially, rank very highly even among my favourites!
“The LORD is my light and my salvation.” Personally speaking, I am endlessly fascinated by the majesty and greatness of God. This is what was expressed in the last Sunday note I published, and this is a theme that constantly comes out whenever I am preaching. It is also a staple theme of my favourite Bible passages, including those countless Psalms! Here in Psalm 27, the Psalmist, in this case David, tells us that God is his light. So it is as if God Himself is the light shining in the darkness of the situations David encountered, and the everyday mundane issues he might have had to deal with.
David was one of the most important and highly regarded kings of the Biblical nation of Israel. Before he became the king of Israel he encountered fierce persecution from the incumbent king, Saul, who unsurprisingly did not want to surrender his throne to David, and in the process lose the monarchy for his own descendants. After David became king, he sometimes continued to encounter challenging situations, sometimes sadly through his own making. So the idea of God being his light would have been powerfully necessary for him at any of those stages.
I believe the same is true for us. Even when things are generally going well, there is still often darkness that we have to face and overcome, whether this darkness is from our circumstances, other people, or even the darkness within our own hearts. God Himself is the light to pierce through this darkness! I love the fact that here it is God Himself who is the light. In passages of the Psalms God’s word is described as being the lamp for our feet, and the light for our path. (Psalm 119v105 – and yes, that is another favourite Psalm!) In the Bible, God’s word is largely synonymous with God Himself. And yet, all the same, I love the fact that here in Psalm 27 I love the fact that it is God Himself, God gan gan, as we would say in my language, that David refers to as his light. Not wisdom, not knowledge, or understanding or intellect, but actually God Himself! In a way, it could sound kinda arrogant, that the whole maker of the universe could be reduced to this function in someone’s life, that among His countless other duties He also happens to function as the light in my life! I guess that is why He is called a multifaceted God!
“…and my salvation”. Many times David’s life was physically put into danger by the schemes and machinations of Saul. Even after he became king, he even had to put down an uprising against him orchestrated by his own son, Absalom, aided and abetted by David’s highly trusted counsellor, Ahithophel. In these dark times when his life was in danger, David realised that it was God who brought relief in his life, and it was also God who saved his life all those times.
“Whom shall I fear?” If God then is our light, and if God then is our salvation, then who is there to be afraid of in life?! No matter how powerful someone might appear to be here on earth, ultimately their power is as nothing compared to that of the Almighty God! Ultimately everyone is eventually going to die, and all their seeming power is going to crumble, as surely as their bodies will. However when we surrender our lives to God, then our lives are held in the hand of the Person who created life itself, who will never die, whose power will never crumble to dust! So listen up world! God Himself is my light, and God Himself is my salvation! I am so not scared of you! When I am safe and secure in God, then the very worst thing that could happen to me is death. However, as a Christian that is nothing to be scared of, because even that is just a moving between spiritual realms, from the physical domain of “earth” to the spiritual domain of “eternity” – and God is the Almighty King of both realms! Frankly, I would rather stay here and maximise my life on earth (before going on to maximise my life in Heaven, of course!) However, the fact remains that either way I would still be alive and I would still be safe and secure in God. So there!
“The LORD is the strength of my life” For this snippet, all of the above thoughts are relevant! And there is also this additional thought. It is God Himself who empowers my life. God gives me the strength to manage difficult situations, without resorting to counterproductive (non)”solutions”. God empowers me to build my life upon a rock, for instance in the area of my marriage, rather than to try to put up shoddy, quick-fix solutions which will collapse at the first sign of bad weather. God empowers me to keep improving, pressing into Christlike behaviour, His Spirit grants me the delicious and sometimes hard-won fruits of love, joy peace etc, He grants me creativity, so that altogether my life might actually give the appearance of being powered by an Almighty God. Because it is! To some extent, God empowers all of our lives (of course), and also all life on earth, whether or not we acknowledge Him. Acts 17v28, Colossians 1v17. And yet, to me it makes sense, that as someone whose life is actually surrendered to God, it shows in my life that a very very special Person is in charge of my life, and not just anybody! So God then, is the strength of my life – so please tell me, who is going to make me feel afraid?! Who is going to feel intimidated in inferiority? Absolutely no-one! On the other hand, on a more sober note, this is exactly why as Christians we need to embrace humility, especially with people whose faith is not as strong as ours, or who are yet to acknowledge God altogether. The Bible teaches that we all will eventually acknowledge God, the question is whether it is going to be here on earth, or after our earthly lives are over. Philippians 2v10 tells us that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow…
I encourage you to acknowledge Him now, and with me and many (countless!) others start pursuing a fearless life!
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