“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:9
His name was Arvil. He was my grandfather, and my childhood hero. I spent a lot of time with him. Whenever possible, I was at his side. And, when he was hunkered down over one of his many projects, I would often be caught peeking over his shoulder. So many times my shadow would wander over his work and he would softly say, “Son, you are in my light.” That’s Southern speak for “you are blocking the light kid, move out of the way.” I was “in his light” a lot.
Psalm 36:9 is a little perplexing at first. It doubles a thought with one idea, or states an idea with the same thought twice. Make sense out of that sense. See what I mean?
This verse has a beautiful and poignant truth: it is in God that we know God. In other words, we cannot know Him outside of Him revealing Himself, His ways, and His will. God takes the first step, has the first intention, speaks the first word, and gets the first dance…every time. If He didn’t, we wouldn’t; we wouldn’t know Him, be able to, or care to do so.
Let’s see this truth in Psalm 36:9 with some other attributes of God substituted into it:
- love we know real love.
- truth we comprehend clear and eternal truth.
- forgiveness we know forgiveness and are set free
It’s a unique way to state something, and very effective once it is pondered upon and bathed in.
In John 1:4 we see this same manner of making a point or stating a truth with repetition, “in Him was life and that life was the light of men.”
Let’s butt this verse up next to Psalm 36:9.
This is not great exegetical work, but given that Scripture interprets Scripture, let’s lay these two verses beside, or even on top of one another here.
The light of men comes from the life of Christ, who is the Light of the world. So, in Jesus (the Light of the world) is the light of the world and the life of men. In this perfect, soul-changing, life-giving, truth-bearing Light is our life, and in Him we see this, and see His beauty and glory. It takes His Light to show us light, and to know what to know, and what to do.
Now, we see….
Son, you’re in My Light. Stay put.