Summary: The LORD is My light, My salvation, and the strength of My life. My strength is in Him!
OUR BANNER AGAINST FEAR
It is a wonderful and profound statement: “The LORD is my light and my salvation.” It is a challenging and liberating truth: “Of whom then shall I be afraid?” Yet we must be careful not to gloss over this personal message, nor to imagine that it is only for others, nor to take it for granted, nor to treat it with the contempt of familiarity.
1. We look first at the ground of David's confidence in this Psalm: “the LORD.”
When the moniker “the LORD” is used in English translations of the Old Testament, it is a device that stands for the unspoken name of the true and living God. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and all that in them is; the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Holy One who saved Israel from captivity in Egypt; and the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
In New Testament times we might also recognise in this symbol Jesus Himself, who is our light, whose name means salvation, and who is the strength and confidence of the people whom the LORD God His Father has given Him. David was fully aware of the plurality of the Godhead when he said in Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my Lord...” - a verse quoted by Jesus Himself (Luke 20:42), and by Peter (Acts 2:34).
David had also called the LORD “my shepherd” in Psalm 23:1, yet Jesus had no hesitation in declaring Himself the Good Shepherd under the Godly moniker “I am” which corresponds to “the LORD” (John 10:11). In another “I am” saying, Jesus declares: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). In fact, Jesus never shrank from nor denied the accusations that He was making Himself equal with God.
After all, there is but one God, yet there are three Persons in the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal. It is this God in whom we must place our trust. This is the beginning of our faith.
2. Secondly, we may consider the particular attributes of the LORD which give rise to David's assurance: light, salvation, and strength.
The light of which David speaks is not created light, the light of the cosmos or the sun, moon and stars. It is uncreated, original light, found in God Himself. This is the foundational light of which the Apostle John speaks: “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
John elsewhere refers to Jesus as the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world (John 1:9). Again we have evidence of the plurality, and the oneness of the Godhead.
There is also such a thing as created light, which God brought into existence on the first day (Genesis 1:3-5). This was ahead of the sun, moon and stars - which only put in their appearance on day four (Genesis 1:14-19). God Himself is the source of all light.
In another of His “I am” sayings, Jesus claims to be “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). To substantiate this, He healed a man born blind whose testimony is echoed by all who have been saved from the blindness of ignorance and ungodliness: “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
The salvation which David celebrated involved the same LORD who had delivered Israel out of captivity in Egypt, and brought them into the holy land under Joshua, whose name means “the LORD saves.”
Yet the name “Jesus” also speaks of salvation, “for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). God is able to save to the uttermost all that come to Him in this name (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus provides the only way for man to be spared from the slavery of the world, the flesh and the devil, and the corruptions which arise as a consequence of our rebellion against God. He has borne the penalty and punishment of our sin. There is no other name under heaven, given amongst men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Furthermore, having been saved, the LORD is seen as the strength of the believer's life. He makes us strong to fight the good fight of faith. In His name we overcome all the snares and traps of the devil and his cohorts. “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
In this we can have confidence: that He who has begun a good work in us will carry it through to its completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). We are called to be holy, but we are not expected to accomplish holiness without the constant ministrations of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. In the meantime, be patient with me: God hasn't finished with me yet. My strength is in Him!