Psalm 27, ESV
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 evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh,
My adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
God is very real. He created all things by the word of His power, and in the palm of His hand the very quantum particles that comprise the universe are held together. We lack the faculties or language even to describe the extent of His power. And yet He has set His love upon us and promised that He is for us. So, whatever might present itself in our lives and suggest (demand) that we should fear it … nothing can compare with His glory and power, which stands between us and our enemies.
4 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.
God stands alone, in a class entirely by Himself. He is not the greatest of any set of other things. He is alone in a category by Himself, subject to no valid comparison of any kind with anything or anyone. And yet He has revealed Himself to us, invited us to know Him, and even adopted us as His children. So we may literally dwell in His house all our days, which He grants to be eternal. To know Him, to be His child, is worth more than the whole world — any power or prestige or treasure or comfort or accolade. Nothing we could desire compares to Him. He is infinite in beauty, and there is a day coming — Come, Lord Jesus, come! — when we will see Him face to face, and know Him as we are known by Him. And there will be no other beauty required to satisfy or imaginable to please the hearts of those who are joined with His.
5 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.
6 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.
I do not fear the future. I do not fear enemies that rise against me. I do not walk in any sense alone. I will not be put to shame. I will not be disappointed. But I will see the promises of God fulfilled, even in the land of the living … and how much more so in heaven.
I will sacrifice — not bulls or rams or goats, but such worldly affections as might have become idols, because worship cannot be worship without sacrifice.
I will sing and dance and shout with joy — not small cheers, but roars of delight. For nothing I could pay would be worth the price of life in God’s house, and there is nothing of equal value to the blood of the very Son of God, that I might return it to God. So instead, I will shout for joy in the presence of the nations, that they would hear my testimony and know that there is indeed a God in Israel. Will I not risk being undignified before the Lord? For my God moved heaven and earth for me. I will certainly dance before Him in freedom and love and with great joy.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
Be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
9 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!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me in.
Your sin is wretched. Despicable. To be loathed, not excused. And feared. It will tear you apart. From seemingly insignificant lies to lust to complex webs of deception, from gluttony to adultery, from murder and abuse to harbored bitterness, your sin is evil and deeply offensive to a perfectly holy God, If you haven’t faced it and called “evil,” then you do not understand the most basic truths about the nature of the universe. But if you understand, then cry out to God. Seek His face. And if you do, then He will be your help. You will not be cast off. He will not forsake you. He will not leave you as an orphan. No matter who else discards you, God will be your home and your hope. He will come for you. And though you cannot know exactly where He will take you or who you will become, you can know for sure that someday you will be like Him.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
And lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
We need not wander aimlessly. And we certainly need not take the advice of fools. We need not be led astray by those who callously disregard the law of life. And we must guard against the enemy, who prowls around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour anyone not paying attention.
The Lord desires that we would know His ways. He will raze mountains and fill in valleys that we might enjoy a straight, level road beneath our feet. He will guide us, like a lamp on a stormy night. He sets before us clear choices. But we must love His law to see. And we must trust His Word to hear.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong, and let your heart take courage;
Wait for the Lord!
Do you not see the goodness of the Lord? If not, ask Him to help your heart to see. Taste and see; you will find Him to be the greatest good. But you must believe to see, not see to believe. And you do not have to wait for heaven to see Him act in power.
He is not tame or domesticated. He does not assess your criteria or expectations for success, then work to meet them. He sovereignly and rightly acts. You’re in His story; He’s not in yours.
He is not slow or late. His timing is perfect. Your demands for more or faster or different or better are little more than self-worship. Trust Him. Be still. Allow Him to be God. He’s amazing at it, and … well … you’re not.
Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord!
I recommend you close in song.
I came across a new (to me at least) singer songwriter, named Joel Case. He and the “Cageless Birds” have written a beautiful song that drives home the message of this psalm, so I thought I’d close with it…