Light, Salvation, Stronghold

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?
- Psalm 27:1
Fear can drive restlessness. Maybe you’ve seen this in friends and family. Maybe you’ve seen this in yourself. When we get afraid we’ll either fight or flee. But the Lord’s presence and activity gives us an additional option.
This week’s psalm describes the Lord as the poet’s light, salvation, and stronghold.
Light allows you to navigate treacherous terrain. Its brightness drives wild animals and predators back into the darkness. Blessed are those who can see the light of the Lord.
And the Lord is, for the poet, salvation. This talk of salvation in this passage isn’t the kind of salvation we often talk about around Chatham Community Church, salvation from sins and adoption into God’s great family. No, this salvation is a little more visceral. People wanted to kill this poet. And the Lord saved him from his enemies. Literally.
Finally, we can look at this image of the stronghold. The poet knew a thing or two about strongholds. They could hold out against enemies. Caught in the open country, even a strong warrior could be brought down by spears and arrows. But there’s a safety that comes with shelter, with a stronghold. And the Lord kept the poet safe.
Who is this poet? David – the shepherd turned warrior king, the great king in ancient Israel, the man after God’s own heart. He had, throughout his life, frequent cause for fear. But he also sang defiant songs like Psalm 27, songs which inspired him to resist the temptation to fight or flee.
Take a few minutes today to listen to Psalm 27. Click here to listen to a dramatic reading of the psalm by Max McLean.

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