For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9, NIV)


Winter brings darkness. But it also brings snow and the blinding light of sunshine on snow, which can transform the whole world.

“I have a message from God in my heart,” David begins in Psalm 36, “concerning the sinfulness of the wicked . . . . In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin . . . . They commit themselves to a sinful course” (36:1–4). They desire darkness. They do not fear God.

But David, then, suddenly looks up, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains. . . . For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (36:5–6, 9).

God’s life brings light. The apostle John writes: “In him [the Son] was life, and that life was the light to all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5). And, again, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (1:9). Jesus twice declares, “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5), the light that penetrates the universe.

David’s psalm returns to the darkness: “See how the evildoers lie fallen—thrown down, not able to rise!” (Psalm 36:12). Today we know almost nothing about the millions of lives in history—the powerful, the talented, the beautiful, and the proud lie indistinct in the dust. Our newsrooms spiel daily that which will soon be meaningless. But David’s life endures.

During the Christmas season, we are surrounded by darkness that pushes in. Evil shades oppress—in culture, the workplace, the school, the home. But the light of God, the light of Jesus Christ, penetrates everything. Therefore let us look up, as did David. Our lives in God’s light take on eternal significance, beauty, power, and joy. “For with you [O LORD] is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”