The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1)
When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12), He was hinting at His identity with the God of the OT. Though the connection might seem rather remote to our non-Jewish ears, it must have been tantalizing—dangerously so—to ears steeped in the Jewish scriptures. Such language was appropriate to God, about whom David said, “The Lord is my light ….” Further, we read:
For You light my lamp; the LORD my God illumines my darkness. (Ps 18:28)
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Mic 7:8)
Through Isaiah’s prophecy, Israel anticipated a coming day when God would fully and tangibly light up the world by His very presence:
“Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over.” (Is 60:20)
As David faced his enemies, who threatened his very life, his first truth to fall back on was that “[t]he LORD is my light.” What does this mean? There is nothing special about the word “light” in its basic meaning. But here, in its figurative use, it speaks of how the Lord gives brightness and clarity—not to enable us to see in the dark, but to give us a clear understanding of our situation. David was not content to passively accept what he could not change, pleading ignorance and appealing to God’s unknowable reasons for the bad stuff in his life. Rather, in faith, he reminded himself as he wrote that God gives clarity to our perception of what is going on. David could see clearly that God was “my salvation” and “the defense of my life.” Therefore, how could he possibly fear anyone or anything?
In the midst of his dark circumstances, threats on his life, his desire was not snuffed out, namely, to clearly “behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple” (Ps 27:4b). The Lord gives light to see Him:
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek. Do not hide Your face from me ….” (Ps 27:8–9)
Lord, help me see the light of Your face and throw away the world’s blinders.