Weds 3 August - Psalm 27
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devoura me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Saviour.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
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Meditation on Psalm 27
A couple of weeks ago I saw a headline in a national newspaper which said, ‘Why it feels like the world is falling apart’.
Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to buy the newspaper and I couldn’t find it on the internet.
I wonder if every generation down through history has had a similar headline.
As we look back through our Bibles – especially the Old Testament – I am sure each generation would have had a similar headline.
As we read through the psalms, I don’t think there is any doubt that there were times when it seemed to the writer that their world was falling apart.
Then, every now and then, we come across a gem where the psalmist is conscious of the presence of God and rejoices in the faithfulness and unfailing love of the LORD and they call out, “My hope is in you.”
As we come to Psalm 27 we are taught by David to have confidence in the LORD, whatever the circumstances may be. David often found himself in the proverbial ‘hot water’, sometimes of his own making, and sometimes he seems to be sinking fast but he knew that the LORD was there to hear his cry or mercy and answer him.
We don’t know the exact period of David’s life that he wrote this psalm but we know, from some of the references that he was facing troubles from many people - ‘the wicked’; ‘enemies’; ‘an army who besiege me’; ‘war’; ‘the day of trouble’; ‘my foes’; ‘false witnesses’; ‘malicious accusations’.
And yet, as we travel with him through these tough times, we can look to the Lord in confidence.
A CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD Verses 1-3
Notice that David makes this a personal testimony:
‘My Light’; ‘My Salvation’; ‘My stronghold’; ‘My protection’.
He is talking about a living relationship with the LORD which is very precious to him.
We, too, talk about a living relationship with the Lord as we think about our commitment to the Lord Jesus as our Saviour.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
When Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman at the well, she went home and told her neighbours. They came to see and hear for themselves and their testimony is the same as ours, “we no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that man really is the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42)
A stronghold is a defensive structure where we go for safety. Jesus is our stronghold in times of trouble where we find shelter.
This place of safety is also a place of protection.
David’s confidence is in the LORD and, therefore, he has the assurance that he need not fear.
He has faced many battles, many enemies but he has such confidence in the LORD that no matter who they are, what they do or what they say, he has the assurance that because of his relationship with the LORD it will be his enemies who will be beaten. We too, have the assurance that our arch-enemy, the devil, is on borrowed time. He will ultimately be beaten, never to come back at us.
- LONGING FOR THE LORD Verses 4-6
There are three things David longs for…
- to dwell where God is. He refers to God being in the ‘house of the LORD’; ‘His temple’; ‘His dwelling’; ‘the shelter of His sacred tent’. To be in the presence of God is his longing. Is that our longing? This doesn’t just refer to ‘being in church’. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world do not have a church to go to and yet they experience the presence of God and long to be in that place where God is.
Psalm 139 sums it up – ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.’
- to gaze on the beauty of the LORD. Spurgeon’s first published sermon was preached when he was 20 years old. The theme was ‘The immutability of God’. In his sermon he said, “the highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”
- to seek Him. It wasn’t the building that was important. It was the presence of God.
And David’s confidence was in the safety and the shelter that being in the presence of God offered him.
And his response was to praise the LORD.
This is our response to that safety and shelter and we give thanks to the Lord.
- PRAYING TO THE LORD Verses 7-12
His confidence in his praying was not so much in what he was asking for but, rather, in who he was praying to…
- ‘my helper’
- ‘my Saviour’
- ‘my teacher’
Knowing who he believed in gave him the confidence to pray.
- he prayed for mercy
- he prayed for answers
- he prayed for protection
- “do not hide your face from me”
- “do not turn me away”
- “do not reject me or forsake me”
- “do not hand me over to my enemies”
Perhaps our prayer is ‘Lord, teach me to pray.’
- CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD Verses 13-14
David comes back to where he started.
Whatever happens; whatever challenges I may face; whatever the deep waters I may have to navigate, one thing I can be assured of is ‘the goodness of the Lord’.
With that confidence I can wait, I can be strong, I can take heart, I know that the Lord is always there.