Life,  Theology

Songs from the Heart – Psalm 27:1

Here’s part of a chapter in a new study/devotional book I’m writing on selected Psalms entitled Songs from the Heart. Hope to have it out by late May, 2014. Be blessed.

 Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?”

 Have you ever really been afraid? It’s one thing to experience the childhood fear of monsters, but how do you overcome adult fears? Even as adults, some of our fears are totally unjustified, but there are some adversaries out there who are real and formidable. You may struggle with the fear of looming financial disaster or irreversible, terminal illness. It is possible that the uncertainties of the future have created great concern in your life, and your fear is really not for yourself but for what could happen to your children. Your fear could even be a ridiculous phobia – that is ridiculous to others but very real to you. What do you do with debilitating fear? David faced this kind of enemy, and conquered it with the Lord’s help. In the opening verse of this Psalm, he made three declarations that give us a clue as to how David dealt with potential fear: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” This declaration is key to how David dealt with fear in his life, so let’s consider each statement individually.

The Lord is my light.”  You could take this statement literally simply because God gives evidence to His physical radiance in a variety of places in the Bible (consider the Shekinah glory in the Old Testament and the pillar of fire for the Children of Israel in the wilderness). Deuteronomy 4:24 actually calls God a “consuming fire.” Jesus even said, “I am the light of the world” (see John 8:12). Though we could take this description literally, I believe that David is speaking figuratively. He could have been referring to God as being a guide to his life. In Psalm 119:105, God’s word is seen as a “lamp” to our feet and a “light” to our path. David could have been referring to times of potential darkness in which he had lived in the past. It could have been the darkness of despair and depression or the darkness of sin, but in the midst of these times, God always came forth to illumine his way. So, the light may have been beams of hope or rays of encouragement. It is also possible that the Lord acted as light in David’s life by illuminating sin during times of rebellion. Nathan, the prophet, came to David after David had committed sin with Bathsheba and actually insured the death of her husband. God used the prophet to confront the king and to call him to repentance. There is nothing quite as chilling as Nathan’s words “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel” (see 2 Samuel 12). All of these thoughts are true, and maybe David had one particular application in mind. The fact, however, is that God is a light to us.

The Lord is also our “salvation.” It is easy to imagine David’s train of thought with this declaration. As he wrote these words, he could have thought back to his short, but very impactful, battle with the giant, Goliath, in the Valley of Elah. It is possible he was thinking of the times God delivered him from the bear or the lion, or maybe he was thinking of his narrow escape from King Saul. Regardless of the circumstances, David had been in serious trouble at various points in his life, and God had saved him from impending doom. To say that “the Lord is my salvation” indicates that we stand in need of a Savior. I think it is significant the Psalmist didn’t just say that God gives salvation but rather God is salvation. Saving is as much a part of His nature as creating or loving. God is your salvation because you need saving. God is your salvation because there is no other means by which you can be saved (see Acts 4:12).


  • jan lea

    amen. i have fears and phobias that are absolutely ridiculous but to me it is such a struggle. sometimes i wonder how i get through life. and i keep myself out of certain situations out fear, knowing it can be beneficial to myself and possibly others. i need my Saviour.

  • lynn busby

    I am looking forward to your commentary on fear.
    For some of us that have lived in a state of fear for extended periods of time, we have forgotten how not to live in fear. We know it is a sin and we hate it but we have been programmed over a prolonged period of time to go to a deep place of fear with the smallest of cues. I would like an insight on how to train the emotions and mind to get out of the fear cycle.

    • timriordan

      Thanks for your comments (Lynn and Janice). I think fear is a huge factor for all of us. It’s one of Satan’s great tools to rob us of joy and other spiritual fruit. I think one reason I am so drawn to David (in the O.T.) is that he seemed to be so full of faith, regardless of the circumstances. He didn’t, however, just one day have great faith. It was a growing process. He learned through life that since God could handle the lion and the bear, He could also handle Goliath and King Saul. I think daily faith and little victories bring big faith with the big challenges.

  • Cindy

    I have always been a worrier. When the kids were younger, I worried about whether they would get hurt, stolen, taken away, etc. Now I worry about their decisions as adults. I use to worry about how to put food on the table, now I worry about having a house to keep the table in. Now I worry about how we will make it in our old age. Jobs, finances, health, etc. I use to worry if I would be able to withstand the pressure if this country began to persecute Christians. Now I worry about what my children will have to endure, and most assuredly, my grandchildren. There is so much to worry about. And then one day, I decided I was just tired of misses out on life because I was always worried about tomorrow, so I was losing out on the blessings I had ‘today’. So I decided to follow what the Bible says, and just appreciate the blessings I have today, because tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Besides worrying about what was going to happen didn’t change what was going to happen. Amazingly, my days are much happier. God is so smart.

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