The Divine Light
Psalm 27:1-14
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?…

I. DAVID SAYS THIS. He is in exile, engaged in some struggle on the frontiers of his kingdom: his foes have received a check: he is closely watched, but is, nevertheless, confident of victory. This is the only occasion in which David speaks of the Lord as his Light: the expression occurs only twice in the Old Testament. Micah says, "the Lord shall be a light unto me." In other places light is spoken of as God's gift — the light of revelation and of conscience. But here David says, "the Lord is my light." David's life was one of great vicissitude, and his temperament was very changeable. Hence he was liable to great depression, especially through the recollection of his awful sins — adulterer and murderer that he was. And yet he was a man after God's own heart, because a man's life is to be judged not by its exceptional acts, but by its governing principles. Nevertheless, David was damaged deeply and permanently by his sins. But they did not destroy, though they did deface his real character, his profound religious sense of God's presence and claims. The leading acts of a man's life may look one way, the governing principles of his life another. Philip II. of Spain encouraged and paid for the publication of the second great polyglot Bible that was ever printed. But how wrong it would be to infer from that one action what manner of man he was. And so with David: his exceptional acts do not reveal him in his real character and mind. Saul had no depth of character: moral levity and indifference to the claims of God are constantly chargeable against him. But David's sins, though terrible, were but temporary, and never became the habit of his life, and they did not extinguish in him his deep love of God. Hence, still he could say, "The Lord is my light."

II. Apply the words TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. In their deepest sense they can apply to none else. He whom Jesus said was greatest of woman-born — John the Baptist — was yet "not that light, but came to bear witness of that light." Christ alone could say, "I am the light of the world." Some of us may remember that great work of Christian genius, called the "Notre": it is by Correggio, and is reckoned amongst the chief of the art treasures of the Dresden Gallery. In it the Divine infant is represented as with a body almost transparent with light, and from Him all around are illuminated, and in proportion to their nearness to Him. It is a representation on canvas of a great moral and spiritual truth. For Christ is the one light of men.

III. To THE CHURCH. Was it not so in the days of persecution? Road the history of the martyrdom of Stephen.

IV. To CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. Our text is the motto of the University of Oxford, and expresses the truth that education apart from Him is vain.

V. To THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE. Then refer to Him all teaching, all content. "Lead, kindly Light... lead Thou me on."

(Canon Liddon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David.} The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

WEB: Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

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