Section 1: The Light of the World
In my family, when I was a teenager, it seemed that almost every Saturday featured some work project around the house. Even the Christmas season was fair game—none of us will ever forget installing insulation that overcast December day. But when I was younger, one of my main jobs was much easier: holding the flashlight.
My dad might be working on the car in the evening, and if he couldn’t see the part he was working on, he’d ask, “Where are you shining the light?”. Of course, my attention had wandered, and so had the beam. He needed the light to function. Without it there was confusion and frustration.
Confusion and frustration are common experiences. In Psalm 18, we read that David too knew perplexity and distress. But under threat of attack from enemies more powerful than he was, David called out to the Lord (Psalm 18:17). This same God he cried out to was the same God who performed the miracles for Israel when they were under oppression from powerful enemies and their gods in Egypt (v.2).
One Egyptian god was Ra, the sun god. In a show of power, God sent pitch-black darkness over the land for three days. God’s miracles also displayed that His people were not like other nations; they belonged to Him. For while their enemies floundered blindly in the darkness, all God’s people had light. And God continued providing light for His people. As He led His people out of Egypt, He led His people, lighting the way even at night (Exodus 13:21).
These examples don’t just provide historical data. They are a reminder of what God is like, even in the darkest situations. As part of God’s people, we can see ourselves living inside the brilliant story of redemption. This remembrance can lead us, like David, to say, “LORD, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness” (Psalm 18:28).
God didn’t shine a mere flashlight at David’s feet or in the darkness Israel faced. He lit up the landscape with His brilliance. And as believers today, we are given life-transforming light. More than that, we ourselves have been transformed: “Now you are light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). We are now part of God’s family, and that should affect how we live and talk and rest and work every day.
We must ask the Lord to shine His light not only into our perplexity and distress, but also into every dark and futile corner of our lives (Ephesians 5:11). Because Christ has come, the sun has risen on those who belong to Him, so we can now see and function as He intended. We can walk in His light.