Day 34: Yahweh Ori

[Yahweh Ori] and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

Psalm 27:1-3

Yahweh Ori: The Lord is My Light

I think in our modern world in which we can simply flip a switch and dispel darkness, we easily forget what a big deal light is. A few days of a power outage might remind us how impenetrable darkness can be, but then the lights come back on and we forget again. But for all human history except the last 100ish years, darkness was a more formidable thing.

Of all our five senses, we rely on our sight the most; darkness is weakness, vulnerability, and that is why it makes us feel afraid. It is not silly to be afraid of the dark, though many of us think it is because we associate it with childhood. But here, the psalmist gives his reason for not fearing the dark, and he doesn’t say it’s because it’s a ridiculous fear. He says because the Lord his Light is with him, he is not afraid.

When I was a child, we went camping a lot. I remember a late night bathroom trip one night particularly vividly; I remember it because the path was thin, the night was dark, and we took only one flashlight. I wanted to carry it myself because I felt safest that way, but as I was easily distracted and tended to let the light wander off the path into the woods around us, my father politely declined my request and carried the light himself. I remember this night because I did get distracted and let my eyes wander, and when I did, my father got ahead of me with the light; I remember I could see the light bobbing several paces in front of me, but I could no longer see the path just beneath my feet. I could hear the sounds behind me and feel the dark pushing and throbbing and enclosing, and I ran, blind as I was, toward that one little oval of light. I walked practically on his feet the rest of the way!

That is how I see Yahweh Ori; the closer I stay to Him, the more I can see. With so much darkness in the world, I want to stay pressed up against His very feet!

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