Do you have any idea what “nyctophobia” means? It is a fear of darkness or the night and while it is much more prevalent in children, there are adults who continue to experience it under certain circumstances. Telling a young child that “ghosts are not real” and that there is “nothing different in their bedroom at night than there is during the day” is a rather useless thing to do when they feel afraid in the dark. Wouldn’t you agree that everything seems a bit more exaggerated when light is absent – noises, shapes, the wind, your pain and most of all your anxieties and your fears? It is somehow much more difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality, between your imagination and truth, when darkness surrounds you.
Throughout his life David had very real reasons to feel afraid, but as a young shepherd boy he had learned that God was very able to protect him and to go before him in places where the darkness would be inevitable. David also knew that in God’s presence, he could have supernatural strength and peace. At times, when the darkness was of his own making, a darkness that he felt internally rather than externally, he continued to believe that God would not reject him or turn His face away from him. He knew that in waiting expectantly and patiently for the Lord, he would be filled with the light of His presence, a place where He could rest secure in God’s majesty and power.
Just as it must have lifted the spirits and minds of the Israelites as they sang together David’s song of trust, it can do the same for you and me today – “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)