352 – Psalm 27 – My Light

Psalm 27:1-2 (NKJV)

     27:title       A Psalm of David.

           1       [YHWH] is my light and my salvation;

    Whom shall I fear?

    [YHWH] is the strength of my life;

    Of whom shall I be afraid?

 

Let’s spend a few minutes considering Psalm twenty-seven. We know from the title that King David wrote it. We also know that this psalm was added to the official collection during David’s lifetime by its number. Not every psalm written by David was added to the “Book” while he was alive. Psalms one through forty-one are considered Davidic because each Hebrew poem set to music was recorded in book one of the five books of Psalms while this ancient Hebrew King ruled from Jerusalem. For example, David wrote Psalm fifty-one, but it wasn’t added until after his death, during the reign of his son Solomon, to book two of the Psalms.

You’ll notice I bolded some words and underlined some in the first two verses of Psalm twenty-seven. The author, whom we’ve already established to be King David, makes a proclamation and then asks a question in both verses. In these verses under our microscope, David declares that YHWH is three very specific things to David. YHWH is David’s light, salvation, and the strength of his life. Let’s take a look at each of them one at a time.

“YHWH is my light”. In one sense it is important to recognize this declaration to be a figure of speech of one kind or another. What do I mean? Well, David is certainly not telling the world that YHWH provided David with physical light so David can motivate around in the darkness. There exists no dimmer switch on YHWH that can be turned down when it’s sunny outside and back up again to illuminate the night. Though it indeed is a simile it should not be dismissed as a mere literary device. It indeed communicates a powerful truth that should cause us to sit up and take notice. Other verses talk about light.

John 1:3-4 (NKJV)

           4       In Him was life, and the life was the light of men

           5       And the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Before we get to the word “light” in verse four we should identify the antecedent for the pronoun “Him”, which is the opening word. Working our way backward we discover the antecedent for “Him” to be “the Word”. Those of you familiar with John chapter one will immediately know that “Him/the Word” here is referring to Jesus as John reveals in verse seventeen.

Interestingly, the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 seems to pull these two metaphors together in verse 105.

Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

     Your word is a lamp to my feet

    And a light to my path.

 

Look back at Psalm 27:1 – what does David mean by “YHWH is his light”? Think about the darkness for a moment. A man in the dark cannot accurately assess his environment. He cannot be assured of his own safety nor the safety of those in his company. Without illumination, he cannot be assured of a safe path forward. In short, with YHWH as David’s metaphorical light, David is able to keep his environment, situation, and circumstances in the correct perspective – God’s perspective.

I find it interesting that David did not proclaim something like, “I’m the King, I have wise advisors around me, I’m smart, I got this!” No, he unashamedly proclaims, “YHWH is my light”! As we’ve seen in the first chapter of John this light that is YHWH is not only David’s light, He is “the light of men”! That begs the question, do you and I let YHWH fulfill His role in our relationship with Him? Do we allow Him to be our light? To know the answer maybe we should apply the test, “whom shall I fear”?

 

Who do you fear?

 

What do you fear?

 

Is YHWH your light?


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