The Bible attributes many of the psalms to David, a shepherd boy who became king. As a great warrior, he led his armies against foe after foe. Understandably, he had enemies who plotted against him. The reality of his enemies trying to defeat him often engaged his mind.
I can imagine David as one who spent the early hours of each day meditating on God, on the challenges that he faced, and on his reliance on God as deliverer. One morning as the sun rises, these words come to his mind: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”
Whether written by David or another psalmist, this poetry resonates with many of us. It begins with a profession of faith, an affirmation of God as light and stronghold. Only in verse 7 does the psalmist mention his request for help; we read the imperative words of command: Hear, come, do not hide, teach, do not give me up, wait. The psalmist seeks God’s face and in that seeking, God—the light, the stronghold—sustains and strengthens.
All of us in leadership roles have felt a little like David when persons have questioned our leadership, intentionally worked against us, or falsely accused us. Then the words of this psalm become our words.
The psalmist praises God and reflects utmost confidence in God’s ability to save. These affirmations are followed by a sense of God’s distance: “Do not hide your face from me, . . . do not forsake me.” Even at our best, we often express total confidence in God but then let doubt creep back in. However, we “wait for the Lord”; our strength and courage depend on God’s goodness.
God of light and salvation, forgive us for failing to have total confidence in your presence and love. We need you. Thank you for being our hope and our strength. Amen.