Enlightenment; October 19, 2017

Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

This verse first grabbed me many years ago. At first glance it seems somewhat nonsensical – in your light we see light – but David is playing on different Hebrew uses of the word, light. There are many places in the Old Testament where “light” is used to mean “life.” Sometimes English Bibles say, “the light of life,” where the original Hebrew just says, “light.” David has just said that the fountain – source, wellspring, origin – of life is in God, so then he goes on to say that in the light – illumination, understanding, enlightenment – of God, we see life. Conversely, this could be taken as saying that in the life of God, we receive the illumination, understanding, enlightenment we need. Either way, it’s both true and profound. Jesus Himself said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Again, right after His most famous saying in John 3:16, He said, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) When He commissioned Paul He told him, “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:17-18) Even without knowing about Jesus, David was given real insight into the importance of light, and he passed it on to us.

I have an interesting relationship to light. When I was a photo lab technician I literally worked in a darkroom, and when we moved to Omura I created one of my own to process my own pictures. My eyes are sensitive to light, and sunglasses are a necessity to me. I navigate in the dark pretty well, and very seldom turn on a light if I have to get up in the middle of the night. That said, I like good indoor lighting, and am frustrated by homes that seem dark to me. I am even more frustrated by people who decline to be illuminated by the light of reason, or especially by the light of God’s Word. I am sharply aware of the truth of what Jesus said in John 3:19, which I just quoted. People accuse me of conceit when I try to shine God’s light into their darkness, but I am in no way the source of the light; I merely reflect it. I am to speak the truth in love, but not stop speaking the truth. Those who reject the light seal their own fate. I am to grieve, but not take it personally.

Father, You have commissioned me as a “light-bearer.” I am never to take that lightly, (no pun intended) but seek to be ever closer to You so that Your light may shine ever brighter through me. Use me indeed as Your agent, indeed bringing people “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God,” (Acts 26:18) just as You told Paul, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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1 Response to Enlightenment; October 19, 2017

  1. Alex says:

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