Psalm 27:1 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?
This is a dearly loved Psalm indeed, with several parts of it set to music, and verse 8 being a particular favorite of mine. However, all the rest of the Psalm is an illustration and amplification of the truth in this first verse. It is precisely because this was an honest declaration that David was “a man after God’s own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) It is when we recognize that God is our light, our salvation, the fortress of our life, that we value Him properly and cling to Him in loving obedience. For too many people God is entirely peripheral, unconsidered and unvalued except in emergencies. That’s certainly no way to please Him! The world is currently full of things to make us afraid. A list would be very easy to make, but it wouldn’t benefit at all, because it would put the focus in the wrong direction. The whole point is that when we are established in God, none of that matters a hill of beans. Anxiety and paranoia are increasingly common as diagnosed illnesses, and that’s only those who are seen by doctors! The antidote to all of that is the one David found: an intimate relationship with our Creator. Logic alone will tell you that there has to be a guiding Intellect behind the existence of the universe, as numbers of theoretical physicists, mathematicians and others testify, but it takes a leap of faith to discover that He not only exists, He cares, and He loves us. David didn’t have mathematics or physics to teach him the incredible, beautiful order of the universe, but he had encountered God his Savior, and that made all the difference.
I’m back to being grateful for the intellectually rigorous family of faith in which I was raised. I have discovered that the foundation of wisdom, as apposed to simple knowledge, is indeed knowing, fearing and loving our Creator, just as the Bible says repeatedly. (Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10 etc.) Simply knowing that God exists, without acting on that knowledge, does you very little good. Thinking that such such knowledge is sufficient in itself is simply deceiving yourself. (James 1:22) I have found that presenting the facts of the Gospel to someone does very little good unless they understand their own need for a Savior. That is the one reason the increase in things to be afraid of can be beneficial: it can cause people to seek God. However, when people’s concept of salvation is limited to the physical, events can cause them to abandon faith and think it was all a sham. It is when we seek God for who He is, rather than just for what He can do for us, that we discover the stability, peace and joy that David and others enjoyed. I am not to put people down for shaky faith, but I am to encourage them always to lift their eyes to the One who loved them enough to send His Son to die for them.
Father, I obviously could go on at length about what it means to know You. Help me be more and more effective in introducing others to You, so that they too may discover the joys of fellowship with You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!