09/26/S – The Light of the World

1 Samuel 17:1-40; John 8:12-20; Psalms 110:1-3; Proverbs 24:5-6

OT: “David answered Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” Then David said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”” (‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:34-37‬ ‭CSB)

When Moses first sent 12 spies into the promised land, they came back with reports of giants in the land… and compared to the giants, they were like grasshoppers. That report struck fear in the hearts of the Children of Israel and they lost their faith in God. A descendant of those giants was now terrorizing the armies of Israel. As the soldiers in the army of Israel looked at the menacing size of Goliath, they felt like grasshoppers compared to him and they were afraid. David, like Caleb and Joshua of old, did not compare himself to the giant. He compared the giant to the Lord God. David, a young lad, had no formal fighting experience, but he had experienced the grace and  faithfulness of God as he protected his sheep from predators in the wild. He knew that if God helped him defeat lions and bears as he protected his flock of sheep, then surely God would grace him to defeat this giant as he defended the name and reputation of the Lord God. David didn’t just see with natural sight – he through eyes of faith. As Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” David’s sight wasn’t hindered by trusting in only what he could see. His vision was enhanced to see beyond the natural into spiritual reality by faith. His courage was not in himself. His courage was in the Lord God who looks to and fro throughout the earth to find men and women who will place their faith in Him.

NT: “Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.” “Even if I testify about myself,” Jesus replied, “My testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. You judge by human standards. I judge no one. And if I do judge, my judgment is true, because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am the one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.”” (John‬ ‭8:12-18‬ ‭CSB)

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world.” This was the second “I AM” statement recorded in John. Light brings life and light brings clarity of sight. The reason that the earth is teaming with life is because of its relationship with the sun. We have only one sun, and it brings life to all the earth. During the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews would have been reminded of another light: the pillar of fire that led them at night through the wilderness. It is because of light that we have life and it is by light that we see and do not walk around lost and in confusion. Jesus claimed to be the Light of the World: the singular source of life, and the means by which anyone who believes in Him and follows Him can navigate life with clarity. The Pharisees disputed His claim, saying He had no corroborating testimony – that He was simply saying that of Himself. His response was that The Father testified on His behalf in His word, but the Pharisees couldn’t see that in scripture because they weren’t looking at scripture through faith. Blind people are the only people who can’t see and recognize light… and the Pharisees were blind because they didn’t have faith. They only judged by human standards. Faith in Christ opens our spiritual eyes to recognize and receive the Light of the World, Who then fills our lives with life, gives us clarity of vision, and leads us confidently through even the darkest of times.

Proverbs: “A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength; for you should wage war with sound guidance — victory comes with many counselors.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24:5-6‬ ‭CSB)

David was a wise warrior who, as we will later see, defeated the warrior of brute size and strength. Though David was inexperienced naturally, he had wisdom and knowledge from above as he placed his faith in trust in the God of ages. Our own sight and understanding is limited… we only see in part. But when we trust in the Light of the World and in others who also trust in Him, we are able to wage war with wisdom and understanding, and come out victorious on the other end.

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