Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:11
One of the most familiar symbols for God in the Bible is “light.” We quickly think of Jesus’ words in John 8:12—“I am the light of the world.”
But long before Jesus ever spoke those words on the temple steps in Jerusalem, light was a symbol for Jehovah, the covenant-making, covenant-keeping God of Israel.
Think about the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites throughout their journeys in the Sinai desert. Remember the glory that dwelt between the cherubim in the Most Holy Place of both the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple. The Israelites’ word for that glory is shekinah.
This is the light of which David sings in Psalm 27: “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?
In Psalm 27, David was battling fear, confusion, and dismay. He was physically under attack. His enemies were trying to kill him. Yet Psalm 27 is filled with words of faith: “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (v. 13).
In Hebrew, the word for light, owr, is used for daylight, that light which diffuses across the globe every day, as well as for the individual light of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
The same word is used for the understanding that illuminates our minds and the wisdom that enables us to select the right path: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Our awesome God provides all of these things for us. No wonder David, in the midst of his troubles, looked to The Light. That same Light sustains and guides us in our darkest circumstances. Hallelujah!
Twenty-two psalms speak of the light God provides for us. Here are a few of them: Psalm 18:28, Psalm 36:9, Psalm 37:6, Psalm 43:3, Psalm 112:4.
Trace the evidence of God’s presence with his people, his Shekinah glory, in the following passages: (Exodus 13:21, 40:34; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Ezekiel 10:18-19; Mark 9:3; Revelation 21:22-25; 22:3-5)
Read 2 Corinthians 3:18. Where does God’s glory dwell now?
John, in his gospel, refers to Jesus as the “true light” (1:9). The Greek word for light, phos, is used 24 times in 16 verses in John. What is John revealing about Jesus in these passages? (The word occurs six times in chapter 1. It also appears in chapters 3, 5, 8, 9, 11 and 12).
Denise K. Loock