The Daily Office: Day 36- God Our Light and Salvation
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8 You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, do I seek." 9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27 is a treasure trove of pictures of how glorious and intimate our relationship with the Lord can truly be. We will spend a few days following the guidance of this wonderful Psalm.
David's initial picture of God is that He is our light. How is God, our light? First, it might be helpful to think of the opposite of light, which is darkness. Darkness in scripture is pictured as chaotic evil, which causes harm to our souls and will lead to ultimate destruction. Darkness cannot exist in the presence of God, for God is opposed to darkness, and "in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)
God as light means that He is overflowing with all goodness, virtue, and love toward us. God as light is a God of justice who defends the poor, widow, and orphan and sets the lonely in loving families. God as light becomes both the only source for our own goodness and the only course for our journey. The Lord of light vanquishes the chaotic darkness of our souls and leads us to a place of joy and abundance.
John states that "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) Those who see that God is light allow the Lord to lead them in new ways of living as they experience His grace. We are not perfect in this pursuit, but "walking in the light" is the intentional trajectory of our lives. All our imperfections and stumblings are cleansed by the Lord who rejoices in our desire to learn His ways, much as a parent celebrates to see their little child grow and imitate them. The cleansing we experience through Christ intensifies the longing to grow up and walk progressively in the light.
God is also our salvation. Salvation for David means God, rescuing him from every danger and attack. The gospel view of salvation is that God has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of Jesus the beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13) Here we live in a realm of light where we can rest secure and safe in the faithfulness of God who, through His Son, dispels our darkness and makes us "children of light" who joyfully "walk in the light."
Ask the Lord to light your way today and guide you. Ask Him to keep you from all chaotic darkness that might infect your soul. Let the cleansing you experience through His forgiveness intensify your desire to "walk in the light."
Thank you, Lord, that you have rescued me from the domain of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of your Son, which is a kingdom of light. Lord be my light today. Keep my soul far from darkness and all things that are not you. Rescue me when I stray and bring me back to the paths of light and fellowship with You. Amen