I love the ’80’s classic, “Gremlins”. Yeah, it’s a cheesy premise, with some cheesy effects (although pretty decent for the mid-’80’s). But it’s still awesome. I remember buying several boxes of Gremlins cereal so that I could get a Gizmo doll–that thing was awesome! It was “life size”–the size of Gizmo in the movie. It sqeaked, it was furry. I loved that thing. I wonder if my mom kept it… my girls would love it.
One of the three rules about Gizmo was that you couldn’t expose him to bright light–it would kill him. The gremlins hated light–that’s how they all died (the final scene where Stripe, the leader of the gremlins, dies in the greenhouse, is pretty cool).
Bright light can be frightening.
I can’t stand it when someone turns on the lights when I’m in a dark room, or have been sleeping (repeated appeals to my wife have fallen on deaf ears!). Why is that? Light illuminates and exposes. It awakens. It reveals. While uncomfortable at first, we tend to welcome bright light–it keeps us from stubbing our toes!
Psalm 80 is filled with references to bright light. The author begs God to turn the fortunes of Israel. Three times, he repeats this phrase (with several intentional variations):
O God, restore us, and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:3)
O God of hosts, restore us, and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:7)
O LORD God of hosts, restore us; cause your face to sine upon us, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:19)
With each instance, the author adds something about God: He is the God of hosts (He is powerful, and in control). He is also the LORD God of hosts (He is powerful, in control, and full of compassion and mercy). He is able to deliver from terrible circumstances, and He will deliver from terrible circumstances because of His compassion and mercy.
All three of these references refer back to Numbers 6:25, which is the priestly blessing upon the nation. What is the author of Psalm 80 asking for when He begs God to shine His bright light upon them? Grace, peace, and blessing. When God delivers these things, it will lead to a revival of faith and renewed praise of God.
We need some bright light to illuminate our lives.
So often, we think that God should make life trouble free and worry free. Yet, we know that’s not a present reality. Sometimes, the trouble and worry lead us to a realization that we’ve forgotten God, and that our life is (to carry on the light metaphor) darker than it should be. We face a choice–we can cop out and blame God, or we can turn to God for some light.
For me, the “dark times” serve to remind me how much I really do need God to shine on me.
We could all use a little light…