A while back, I reflected and journaled a few thoughts on the first few verses of Psalm 27:
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?
When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
This is a David psalm. It’s personal (my, me, I). The Lord, today, is my light, my salvation, my stronghold. He may be this for many people around the world, but David reminds me that He is this personally with me…today. I am not trapped in darkness because the Lord is my light. I am not helpless and hopeless because the Lord is my salvation. I am not exposed and defenseless because the Lord is my salvation.
And the main truth here is that there is no threat that can confront me that will cause me any true harm. There is no one I need be afraid of because of the Lord with me.
David doesn’t say “The Lord might be my light,” or “The Lord is willing to be my light.” It simply said “is.” Is-ness is simple confidence. I am not trying to manufacture or produce something. God simply is One Who enlightens me, saves me and keeps me safe.
David goes on to describe what looks to me like escalating threats.
- Advance against to devour (threat)
- Attacked (action)
- Besieged by a whole army (threat)
- A war actually breaks out (action)
Many of my fears are an envisioning of some possible future threat. Nothing can threaten me harm that the Lord cannot show me (light), save me from (salvation), or protect me from (stronghold).
Verse 2 says “when.” Verse 3 says “though.” ‘When’ sounds like an expected future event. “Though” sounds like a possible future threat. Even in the face of mounting threats and attacks, David finds confidence (3) in the Lord. Confidence. Dictionary phrases that help me envision what David means by confidence include:
- a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances. (In David’s case, the reliance is on the Lord)
- faith or belief that another will act in a right, proper, or effective way. David directs this faith or belief towards the Lord.
- the quality or state of being certain; certitude. David has a sense of certainty that there was no threat or attack that would harm Him with the Lord on his side.
- a relation of trust or intimacy. David entrusts himself to the Lord. He feels safe and secure in God’s presence.
Like Gideon and Moses when the Lord gave them an assignment that felt daunting and overwhelming, confidence didn’t come as they considered their own capabilities or resources. It came as they realized more deeply that God Himself was going with them. They weren’t alone or abandoned. They had the light of God with them. They knew the Lord would rescue them Himself. They grew in confidence that God would be a safe, secure place for them to live their lives.
I am growing in this confidence as well as I learn that there is no threat of harm in my life that has escaped the Lord’s notice. He sees more clearly than I do just what hardships and threats have come our way.
I am struck, too, that David assumes that when there is a confrontation with his enemies, it will be them who “stumble and fall.” I often assume that in a confrontation with my enemies, I will be ashamed or harmed somehow. I want to feel the confidence David feels as he proclaims that the Lord is his God–a Light, Salvation and a Stronghold.
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