God in the Psalms No.44 – God who is light
Psa 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of winter depression that affects an estimated half a million people every winter between September and April; in particular during December, January and February, caused by lack of sunlight. Light is important! The absence of light means that we can only live by artificial means. Light means we can see things around us and can therefore see where we are going. Light means we can cook, play games, read, in fact do everything that we do in life. We can’t do these things in the dark. The very first thing God created was light (Gen 1:3).
Light and darkness are used in Scripture to indicate wellbeing and goodness or gloom, difficulty and sin. In the book of Job, a book about a man who seemed in darkness of life, the word ‘light’ comes up 25 times.
David also understood the concept of light and wrote elsewhere, “You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” (2 Sam 22:29). David, in his last words reveals that he knew he also had become like light with the Lord: “The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: `When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.” (2 Sam 23:3,4). Do you see what he said? If you rule righteously you’ll be like the sun rising each morning, you’ll be bring light – goodness and the ability to live well and with blessing – to your people. Paul picked up on the transfer of light from God to us when he spoke of Moses reflecting God’s glory when he came out of God’s presence and said that’s how we too are changed (2 Cor 3:13,18).
With the coming of Jesus, the use of light was multiplied. Matthew picked up on the prophetic Scripture that said, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light” (Mt 4:16). John wrote, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (Jn 1:4,5).and “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (Jn 1:9) Jesus declared of himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12) and “Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world”(Jn 9:5). In this Jesus was perfectly expressing the nature of his Father in heaven.
When God first came to Israel at Sinai His presence had led them by a bright cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21). When He came down on Sinai in fire (Ex 19:18). When He filled the Tabernacle and the Temple it was with a bright cloud (Ex 40:33-35, 1 Kings 8:10,11). When Ezekiel saw his heavenly vision he saw “brilliant light” (Ezek 1:4). Scientists link light and energy. God is all-powerful and that energy is seen as brilliant light. David knew God as one who came with that light bringing the foundational means (light) so that he could live. God brought revelation and showed him the way.
Jesus came and did that for mankind, and still does it today for us. On a grey cloudy day, everything is dull and lifeless. Then the sun comes out and everything is transformed and beautiful, full of colour. This is what the presence of the Lord does for us. Our lives were dead and drab and He comes and brings His presence into them and they are utterly transformed so that, like David, we can say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” The two things go together.