You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Ps. 18:28)

By their very nature, relationships are reciprocal. A simple reminder of the root word relate makes this obvious. In order for two things to relate to one another, those two things (or people) must interact. I remember needing to explain this concept to one of my young children who was surprised that a classmate did not accept an invite to a birthday party: “Do you play with them at recess?” No. “Do you sit by them in class?” No. “Do you talk to them?” No. “Okay—then, why would you expect them to come to the party?” But Mom, we are friends! I do not think so. Without positive reciprocal interaction, relationships do not exist. Similarly, negative interactions will produce negative results.

Today’s passage demonstrates this with the repeating rhetorical device of parallel structure, and the parallel ideas are paradoxically independent and yet connected: faithful-faithful; blameless-blameless; pure-pure; devious-shrewd. This demonstrates in poetic form the interconnectedness of action. Notice, however, the shift in verse 28. Whereas the first verses reflect a seed-fruit paradigm, the psalmist later shifts to show how God transforms darkness into light.

We must understand that our relationship with God is one of communication and connectedness. But importantly, God takes what we have to offer (which, in actual fact is absolutely nothing) and turns our darkness in to light. He shows up to redeem his people.

Delight in your relationship with Christ and rejoice that he alone redeems.

Dalene Rovenstine Fisher is a wife and mother. She serves as the dean of arts and sciences at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.