Psalm 27

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 1, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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?” (Psalm 27:1)

This verse from Psalm 27 is the primary reason I wanted to write on this psalm; it has been a very encouraging verse at various times in my life. It reminds me (along with Romans 8:31) that even though the things of this world may cause me fear, I ultimately have nothing to fear when my trust is in Jesus.

This psalm is all about God’s presence with us. It can be easy to forget that He is always with us, since we’re surrounded by this material world. When we are consumed by the things we can see and touch, it’s easy to forget about God who is unseen. Psalms like this one remind us that He is always with us, and that when we don’t feel His presence, we should ask Him to remind us.

Verses 1-3 start out by proclaiming confidence in God’s presence. It’s clear that our confidence is not in what we can do, but in who the Lord is. He is our light, our salvation, and the stronghold of our lives! No one else can compare to Him in power. Even if armies come against us and war breaks out, the psalmist shares the confidence that God will be with him and help him (and us). It is the knowledge of God’s continual presence that gives the psalmist the confidence to know that he will be ultimately protected no matter what happens.

Verses 4-12 are overall a prayer for God’s presence, but verses 4-6 has a different mood than verses 7-12.

Verse 4 paints a beautiful picture: “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.” This brings to my mind the song Better Is One Day, which is based on this verse. This is the ultimate goal of any follower of Christ, that we will ultimately dwell with Him forever. That is what we seek by living our lives to give Him glory - we want to be in His presence forever, and we have the assurance by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus that we will do that one day.

Verses 5-6 elaborate on this a bit more, explaining how God will keep us safe and continually exalt us above our enemies. Because of this, we will rejoice, praising Him with singing and music. When we’re rejoicing, we can’t be afraid, so praising God is another way that we can cast out fear from our lives and trust in God’s provision.

The mood changes in verses 7-10, and the focus is on seeking God. We may go through periods where we do not feel His presence, and that is when we should seek Him all the more earnestly. The repetition of multiple ways of saying the psalmist desires to seek God show the intensity of his searching and how great his desires is to experience God’s presence. The psalmist feels like God has abandoned him, but that just causes him to seek God all the more, because he knows that God has promised to always be with him. The same applies to us. Perhaps you’re at a place in life where things look desperate and it’s hard to see God working in your life. Pray these verses of this psalm along with the psalmist, knowing that God will answer your plea.

The psalmist’s prayer continues in verses 11-12, with requests for guidance and victory. He asks God to give him a “straight path,” which means a lack of obstacles in life. He knows that only God is powerful enough to remove obstacles or difficulties from his life. His second request is for victory over his oppressors. Even though his enemies are spreading falsehood about him, he knows that God is way more powerful and can provide victory over even that which looks hopeless from a worldly perspective.

Verses 13-14 conclude the psalm with further confidence in God’s presence: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” In spite of whatever difficulties the psalmist is facing, he knows he will see God’s goodness in his life. Even the worst situations are opportunities for God to be glorified and show His power in our lives.

While these concluding words were likely meant for the psalmist’s own benefit, they are also encouraging for all those who believe in God. We are all called to wait on the Lord. This word for “wait” in Hebrew also means “hope,” so we could also translate this as “Hope in the Lord.” We know that He is the only one who will never fail us, so hope in Him is not like hoping that something will be accomplished but knowing that it will and just waiting on His timing for it to happen.

We know that God is with us. Because of that, we have no reason to fear anyone else! When we seek God’s presence, we will find it. We can and should put our hope and our confidence in Him, because He truly is good. Rest in that promise this week.

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