“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?” (Psalm 27:1)
These are familiar terms within the Psalms, often glossed over because of their frequent use. Light is often associated with truth throughout the Psalms (Psalm 18:28; 36:9; 43:3). But it also indicates the provision of clarity (Psalm 37:6; 38:10; 112:4) and understanding (Psalm 119:105; 119:130), and even favor with God (Psalm 4:6; 44:3; 89:15; 90:8).
This psalm is a song of joy about God’s marvelous deliverance and may very well demand the broadest application possible. The Lord does provide truth for me as I search His Word—and sometimes that truth just pops into my head and heart when I most need it. He surely grants clarity and understanding to me. That is the primary ministry of the Holy Spirit on my behalf (John 16:13-15). And who can ignore the favor we receive in our salvation (Ephesians 2:8)?
The “rescue” of the Psalms is often set in terms of a military rescue, but it is also applicable to the eternal rescue from sin that is the ultimate focus of the Word. God is said to be the horn of our salvation (Psalm 18:2), a shield (Psalm 18:35), the rock (Psalm 89:26), our strength (Psalm 140:7), as well as my joy (Psalm 51:12) and my truth (Psalm 69:13). These descriptions draw a picture of protection, as does the phrase “strength of my life” in our text. It is consistently used in the Psalms of a rock or fortress that provides safety from enemy attack. All of these settings emphasize the often sudden and unexpected rescue of God’s people from sure defeat at the hands of an enemy. HMM III
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 341-342.