It doesn’t take more than a moment or two checking the news feeds to realize the world is a hot mess. On top of all the natural disaster that have always been, there are more man-made disasters, wars, and examples of brutality than one could ever expect to follow and keep straight in your head. It is easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety and fear over what is and could happen. David was no stranger to the kinds of things that would strike fear into most hearts. King Saul tried to kill him on several occasions. He spent years running for his life. He faced life and death battles. One of his own sons rebelled and tried to kill him. Clearly David had reason the be anxious and fear what might be.
But David begins this Psalm with a clear declaration that he need fear nothing and no one because the Lord is his light and salvation. When David faced Goliath he did so with confidence that the Lord who delivered him from the mouth of the lion and from the mouth of the bear would deliver him from Goliath as well. Because of the history he had with God, David had no fear in the present. And because he had no fear in the present he actually looked on the future with anticipation of the beauty of God’s presence.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet[b] I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
The Christian’s hope is the same as David’s hope. It is that we will dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of our lives. The extreme joy of being in God’s presence and being before the face of God in worship and having God shelter us in His tent, that is what makes all the suffering and anguish of this life fade away. As a follower of Christ I have a hope, and assurance for my future. Nothing in this life compares to the glory to come. Nothing in this life can separate me from the love of God that I have in Christ Jesus. No matter what happens here, I have the joy of salvation that is set before me and long to dwell in the House of the Lord forever.