“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?”
Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
All of us know, and all of us have been, in one context or another braggarts. This is an especially contagious affliction when grandparents have a coffee together. We either try to one up the other with all our surgeries and physical afflictions or we seek to get a word in about one of our beloved grandchildren’s academic or sports exploits.
Occasionally there is no holding us back in this regard. However, if we wish the floor to make our point, we need to be courteous and give the others time to say their piece. This is only fair and usually the entire conversation is conducted in a spirit of good sport.
Most—if not all of us with wonderful children and/or grandchildren—know that the other parents’ children and grandchildren are certainly fine people and worthy of praise. When the dust settles on our boasting we know that it is love more than logic that fuels our discussions.
In our verse today we hear the Psalmist boasting. But, when we read the entire Psalm 27 we come away with a sense that this is not the good hearted boasting that we experience when talking about our family members. This is something remarkably different.
Typically the Psalmist starts where he wishes to end. In this Psalm, as in many, the writer is boasting about the adequacy of God. Verse 1 tells us about three aspects of his relationship with God that are detailed later in the Psalm. God is three things, 1. Light; 2. Salvation; and 3. Strength.
How often have we spoken of needing “a little light on the subject”. This vocabulary has been around for many years. We face a problem and need some illumination, some answers. No one has all the answers to life and its alternatives. Who better to “shine a light” on the issue we face than our creator?
Then the writer speaks of God as his “salvation”. Again we are confronted with our lack of ability to save ourselves, to make ourselves acceptable to a holy God. Here we are told that God is our salvation, not that He saves us. Our Lord was given the name “Jesus” because He would save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21.
The third thing about God is that He is the writer’s “strength”. Here again in life we come up against another wall. We can totally exhaust our own resources fighting the problems we face. Some days we simply want to give up. We reach the end of ourselves. Then is when we learn that it is wonderful to be a child of God. As Anne Johnson Flint has written:
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Hence the Christian has no fear of the future—as the future is in the hands of a loving heavenly Father. May the all sufficient God of the Psalmist be your God today. May your boast be in Him alone.