During the last couple of years, I’ve been waiting to see the Lord work in an excruciating situation. Yesterday I heard God’s truth proclaimed in a first step toward healing the pain. In God’s providence, Psalm 27 seems more than appropriate this morning. David begins his song with two rhetorical questions that indicate his trust in the Lord, who is his light and his salvation (Psalm 27:1, ESV):
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?
He goes on to give reasons for his trust in the Lord:
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident (2-3, ESV).
David has seen God bring down the evildoers, the adversaries and foes, even the armies and wars that rise up against him. He has complete confidence in his God. David’s desire is for God; he wants to dwell with him every day and worship him in his temple.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple (4, ESV).
Once again David expresses his confidence in God’s protection:
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock (5, ESV).
And David exults in God’s present rescue:
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord (6, ESV).
Because God has lifted David’s head above the surrounding enemies, David’s heart overflows with great gratitude. He enters God’s tent of meeting, where he praises and worships God with joy and song.
He knows this current rescue isn’t the end to all his struggles, but his confidence remains strong.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in (7-10, ESV).
As David prays for God’s continued presence, he acknowledges that God expects his children to seek his face. David examines his own heart to determine if he truly is seeking the Lord. He begs God never to forsake him, knowing that he never will. Family ties may be broken; children or parents may reject you, but the God of your salvation never will.
Because enemies always try to trip up God’s people, David asks God to teach him and lead him.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies (11, ESV).
We can’t expect God’s deliverance if we’re not reading his word and walking in his way. God’s word is the best weapon against the enemies seeking our fall. Those enemies don’t give up easily; they perjure and breathe violence.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence (12, ESV).
We may feel like the walking wounded, or even like the walking dead, but we believe that we will see God’s goodness. We’ll see that goodness not only when we live with Christ in heaven, but also in the land of the living here on earth (13, ESV):
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
That’s why our hearts can take courage as we wait on the Lord (14, ESV):
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Waiting on the Lord is never easy. But let your heart take courage! When you seek the Lord and do his will, he will make your enemies stumble and fall. He will lift you high above the battle strife and place you on the secure rock of Jesus Christ, our Light and our Salvation. Be strong in his power and wait with hope!