If God is for us, then who can be against us? This is the fundamental faith of all who have suffered persecution for the cause of Christ. We see it throughout history, and we discover it in both testaments. One man and God outnumber everybody. “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? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell . . .” (Ps. 26:1-14).
If the Lord is our light, strength and salvation, then what can man do to us (v. 1)? When David’s enemies came to devour him, they tripped and fell (v. 2). From God’s faithfulness in the past, David has learned faith for the future (v. 3). This does not make David blindly presumptive—his faith and love line up. The one thing he wants is to dwell in the house of God all his life, and to see His beauty (v. 4). In the worship of God, in the house of God, is the only true safety (v. 5). Because David has triumphed over his enemies, he will offer sacrifices of joy in that place of worship (v. 6). The psalmist is alternating between joy and petitions (v. 7). When God invited David to seek His face, David’s heart responded to that invitation fully (v. 8). Since God has invited this, He ought not to hide Himself (v. 9). How certain is the love of God? B. B. King once sang, “No one loves me but my mother, and she could be jiving too.” But even if those closest to us abandon us, yet the Lord will take us up (v. 10). David looks for God’s instruction, and a plain path, because of his enemies (v. 11). He asks for deliverance from slanderers and those who breathe out cruelty (v. 12). David would have collapsed had he not believed in God’s goodness (v. 13). What is therefore the conclusion? Wait on the Lord. I say, wait on the Lord (v. 14).
What is the nature of cruel breath? Charles Spurgeon commented wisely and well here. “Slander is an old-fashioned weapon out of the armoury of hell, and is still in plentiful use; and no matter how holy a man may be, there will some who will defame him . . . They who breathe out cruelty may well expect to be sent to breathe their native air in hell.”
Now that truth has been born in this world, has lived a perfect life, has died on the cross, and has risen again from the dead, and has ascended into heaven, then how shall all the lies defend themselves? They will do so the only way they know how, and as the kingdom of heaven grows and expands, their devices grow increasingly desperate. There is no doubt that a century or two before the end of the world, there will be some secularist Baghdad Bob triumphantly claiming that the gospel is on its last legs, and that a glorious return of the City of Man is imminent.
But the beauty of the Lord must be triumphant. An essential part of beauty is found in combinations and harmonies. A monolithic anything may be initially impressive, but at some point it begins to get boring. This is simply another way of saying that beauty is trinitarian. We find this ultimate reality as we hunger to be like God, as we thirst to find ourselves in the midst of His righteousness. The beauty of holiness is wild, exciting, dangerous—and easy to misunderstand and misrepresent. The ultimate issue for anyone who wants to live in this world in a right relationship with God is that we must be like Him. And the only way to be like Him is to be in Him.
The Lord is our light—what a glorious picture of the nature of grace! There is certainly conflict between darkness and light, but always remember the nature of this conflict (John 1:5). When you turn on the lights, you never hear creaking and groaning as the light shoulders the darkness out of the way. You never hear the sound of scuffling. Light conquers darkness silently, effortly, completely, and gloriously. There are other metaphors in the Bible that will give us the sounds of combat, but here, when we are talking about grace, all of grace, grace over all, grace excludes selfishness the way light excludes darkness.
Grace is word that points to grace the thing. Grace the thing is the active and living presence of God. In our efforts to evade grace the thing, we often wave grace the word around as a banner. But justification by grace through faith is not brought about by saying “justification by grace though faith.“ Having a personal relationship with Jesus is not the same thing as talking about a personal relationship with Jesus.
Love is light. Light is law. Law is love. Light is love. Open your eyes! The Lord is our salvation, not the phrase, “The Lord is our salvation.“ Is there something wrong with the phrase then? Only if there is something wrong with a book that the reader holds upside down. Is the law unrighteous then? May it never be! Men are unrighteous, and some of them seek asylum for their unrighteousness in the creeds. When we discover them there, we foolishly renounce the creeds—no creed but Christ!—until we find scoundrels seeking asylum for their unrighteousness there in that short, truncated creed. The sinful heart can fashion an idol out of anything.
But here is the good news. The Lord is our light. The Lord is our strength. The Lord is our salvation.