- We come in our studies to Psalm 27, another psalm of David. Once again we desire to know more about the circumstances of this psalm, its occasion for being penned, and other such information concerning David’s life. However, we are left with nothing more than the simple statement in the superscription that this is a psalm of David.
- I believe we will see three distinct themes as we consider psalm 27. The first theme is found in the first six verses which describes the confidence David has. The second theme is found in verses 7-12 where David utters his prayer to God. The third theme is found in verses 13-14 where David offers two reminders for all this singers and listeners.
I. David’s Confidence (27:1-6)
A. My light
- There are three descriptions given by David concerning the way God impacts his life. The first statement David makes is “The Lord is my light.” Light has a very rich meaning throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. Light was the first aspect of creation which God spoke into existence. God is called light, Jesus called Himself light and we are called to walk in the light just as He is in the light. But light also represents walking with God and being in favor with God. Notice a couple Old Testament passages that show this meaning.
- “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long” (Lamentations 3:1-3). Jeremiah described the destruction upon the people and loss of fellowship with God as walking in darkness.
- “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against Him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness” (Micah 7:8-9). Micah declares the nation of Israel had sinned and the consequences they bore are described as “sitting in darkness” and “bearing the Lord’s wrath.” However, when God showed mercy and extended His hand again, they would be brought “out into the light.
- Therefore, I believe David is describing the relationship that he is currently experiencing with the Lord. David is in fellowship with God. He is walking with God and therefore has great confidence that he has nothing to fear.
B. My salvation
- Since God is David’s light, David has confidence that God is his salvation and deliverance. God has the power and ability to deliver us from the power of our enemies, the power of our sins, and the power of Satan. God can help us through any situation that we may encounter. It seems by the tone of this psalm that he is dealing with enemies who fight against him (verses 2-3). But this is the power of God seen throughout the scriptures.
- God told Abraham not to fear when told that he would become a great nation though at the time without a son (Genesis 15:1). God told Jacob not to fear moving his family into Egypt for God would take care of him and make the nation great (Genesis 46:3). God told Joshua repeatedly
to take courage and to not be afraid because the Lord was with him (Joshua 1:9; 8:1; 10:25; 11:6). God told Jeremiah not to be afraid of the task at hand to speak to the nation (Jeremiah 1:8) and said the same to Ezekiel for his task (Ezekiel 2:6).
- God encouraged the people of Israel before conquering the land of Canaan, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). We may think that these promises are only contained in the Old Testament. However, these words were quoted by the writer of Hebrews applying them to us as well. The writer of Hebrews quotes Deuteronomy 31:6, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?‘” (Hebrews 13:5-6). Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 10:28-31. We have nothing to fear except being outside of the light of God. If God is not our light, then we have much to fear. But if God is our light, then we have nothing to fear for the Lord is with us and is our deliverance.
C. The stronghold of my life
- With this knowledge God should be a stronghold in our lives. God now becomes an anchor in the turmoil and waves of life that we encounter. Can you envision a life free from worry and anxiety? Can you imagine a life that is free from fear? We ought to be living it and not dreaming about it if we are true followers of Christ. We do not fear and for myself personally, that brings me great inner peace. Inner peace and quietness does not come from soul searching, as new age and zen teachers want us to think. Calm and peace comes from the Lord as our light.
- We have so much to look forward to after this physical life is completed. Death has no hold over us and death is perhaps the thing that every person fears. But the Christian has no fear of this event, realizing it is simply a transition into eternal life and paradise. We also have the confidence of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is our place of strength.
D. David’s desire: dwell in the house of the Lord
- Verses 4-6 continue to fascinate me because of David’s desire to dwell in the house of the Lord. As we mentioned in the last psalm, the temple was not completed until the days of Solomon, after David’s death. We know that David is not speaking of literally dwelling in the tabernacle since only the priests could enter it. David is describing the intimate relationship he has with the Lord that he would be able live where God lives and see God in His full beauty.
- It is sad if we do not find that same desire and zeal to be near the Lord in our lives. We must want to be with God just as David describes of himself. We want to see the Lord in all His beauty. We want to have such a relationship with God that it can be said that we walked with God and were friends with God such that we see Him face to face, as God did with Enoch, Abraham, and Moses. David is longing for the Lord Himself and nothing else. Let us work to make God our focus and nothing else all the days of our lives.
II. David’s Prayer (27:7-12)
A. Needs acceptance
- In verse 7 the theme of the psalm changes as David begins his prayer to God. I believe we can notice for elements in this prayer that show four needs of David which are needs we also have.
- First, David needs acceptance. All of us want to be accepted. We experience a lot of rejection in this world. We can be rejected by our parents and by our children. We can be rejected by our spouse, our friends, our employers, our co-workers, and even people we simply meet as we perform our chores in the world. Verse 10 expresses words of beauty: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.” We may be cast away by the whole world, but God will not abandon us for He always cares for us. David realizes God’s great love for him. Therefore, David cries out in verse 9 that God has been his help and he will not be abandoned.
- God’s help is what matters most. God’s help is the most effective and most needed in our lives. The world will offer us much rejection. We must seek the Lord for true acceptance. If we do not have the acceptance of the Lord, we will continue to have a great void and continual desire to be accepted. However, this need will not be met till we first find our acceptance with God.
B. Needs to be heard
- The second need David expresses in his prayer to God is the need to be heard. David cries out in verse 7, “Lord, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me.” God is never too busy to listen to us and hear our voice. Yet, the one who wants to listen to us and never to busy for us is usually the last person we want to talk to. God is the one who we can place our burdens on and lay our load upon. I think one of our problems is that we do not believe God is listening to us. Perhaps we do not see Him as the true and perfect Father who wants to hear us.
- No one is a better listener than God. No one can help us with our cries better than God. No one can grant us the peace to the inner turmoil we have except God. We must remember the promise Jesus made to us: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
C. Needs guidance
- David also requests and expresses his need for guidance. “Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path.” I think James Boice said this well concerning this verse, “Which of us knows the way to walk so we will be kept out of sin and make progress in the way of righteousness? No one! We no more know how to live our lives for God than children know how to avoid danger and care for themselves and others. They need to be taught, as do we. In God we have one who can be turned to for guidance.“
- I believe this is an appropriate understanding of this text. Our own knowledge gets us into trouble. Without God’s help, we would be completely lost. It is our unwillingness to turn to God for help that we repeatedly fall back into the same mistakes and weaknesses of sin that ensnare us. We try so hard to do things ourselves. But when it comes to God, we must surrender our will and let God lead us down the proper path.
D. Needs protection
- In the midst of all that is going on, David also prays for protection. As this psalm is penned, we can see the enemies in the back of David’s mind as he alludes to them from time to time (vs. 2-3, 11-12).
- As we look back over these needs, we need to see that God is the provider of these needs. We look to fill these voids in so many different arenas, yet God is willing to take care of all these things when we will let the Lord be our light.
III. David’s Reminders (27:13-14)
A. Wait for the Lord
- Verse 13 exudes a great confidence that David has in the Lord. “ I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” Here is the great confidence we have in the Lord. David knows his prayer will be answered. David also knows that he does not hold on to a false hope. David walks with God and knows God will be with him.
- Therefore, David gives two reminders. First, wait for the Lord. God has His timing which is not our timing. Therefore, what we pray for and what we need can be delayed in coming. We cannot let this cause despair in our lives. We need to learn patience and wait for the Lord.
- So important is this reminder that David not only states it at the beginning of verse 14 but also at the end, as his final words. How well are we doing waiting for the Lord? The writer of Proverbs used this in regards to justice: “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and He will deliver you” (Proverbs 20:22). We have learned bad habits by always wanting answers now and solutions immediately. We do not want to wait and see how things turn out. We think we know what is best and demand things be done according to our knowledge and according to our desires.
- But this is really a lack of faith in the Lord. We are not showing that we trust that God has our best interests in His purpose. How long do we wait for the Lord? It seems at times the most we will wait is about a day. If we have offered a prayer and a day has gone by, too often we figure that God has let us down and is not going to help. Where is our patience? Where is our trust in the Lord? Let us wait for Him.
B. Be courageous
- Just as God instructed Abraham, the people of Israel, Joshua, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to courageous, so we also need to be courageous in the Lord. We need to show some resilience and persistence with the Lord. We cannot cave in when the first obstacle comes along. There were many obstacles in the way of the people of God. However, the Lord repeatedly told them that He was with them and they would overcome by their faith in God.
- Do we have a strong heart that is ready to meet any challenge? Have we strengthened our minds so that we are ready to do whatever is required of us for the Lord? We want things to be easy and we complain and cry when things are not simple. It is time to be strong and get tough in the Lord. I believe we can learn this from many of our own members in this congregation. There are many who have endured many trials of life that I do not suppose I can envision going through. Yet we see that many of them have come through to other side, stronger in the faith. It takes courage to remain with God in the face of adversity. Will we stand with the Lord and wait for Him? Or will we give up and give in?
- Is God the light in your life? Is He your deliverance, your salvation, and your stronghold in this world? If we are not walking with God and working to draw nearer to God, then we do not have the confidence we have spoken about in this lesson. When we turn away to appease our sinful desires, then we lose these great blessings of God.
- Let us strive diligently to be closer to God in every way. Let us talk to Him more and read His words more. Let us meditate on His words more and study His words more. When we are walking with God, then we have a friend who will listen to us, never forsake us, will guide and protect us. Let us wait for the Lord and He will provide all we need.