So, with him on my side, I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. (Psalm 27:1, MSG)
In my two years of voice lessons, my favorite song was written by Francis Allitsen. In strong, triumphant chords, it proclaims, "The Lord is my life and my salvation! Whom, then, shall I fear? Whom, then, shall I fear?"
As usual, the Message shook up my preconceptions and helped me to see things in a new way.
How do light, salvation, and strength/stronghold become light, space, and zest? I looked at other translations, seeking for reasons why the Message had paraphrased the familiar verse that way. The one that gave me a few ideas came from The Voice:
The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
and my rescue in times of trouble.
So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
So nothing should cause me alarm.
Surrounded by a fortress of protection--that suggests space. In fact, the Voice translation shows parallel descriptions of salvation: His light pierces the darkness of sin(see John 8:12). He rescues us from trouble--firstly, the death sentence handed down to us because of our sin (Romans 6:23). He surrounds me with protection (consider Romans 8:38-39).
Zest--an exuberant, joyful, abandon, like David dancing before the ark of the covenant. I'm not sure if this is a quote or just common wisdom, but we never truly appreciate something until we've lost it. To be rescued from that kind of loss, to have a lost child come home, to find healing when suffering from a fatal illness, for God to weave the broken threads of our lives in a beautiful new pattern. Rescue when rescue was impossible, we have a renewed zest for life. As Jesus described it in John, the abundant life, life lived to the full. That's how God lives: always 100% present, always active, always with love.
God is . . .
What more words do you want to add to the list?