PSALM 27 & ADVERSITY
by Pastor Paul K. Christianson
The declarations and prayers of Psalm 27 are made against the dark frame of a host of enemies: evildoers who slander, do violence, and seek the destruction of King David, the author of this psalm. David likens them to “wild beasts,” verse 2, and like an army encamped around him, verse 3.
Against such odds the king is incredibly defiant, writing in verses 1 through 3: “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? When evil doers assail me, uttering slanders against me, all my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
Why is King David “confident” with such treacherous and fearsome enemies seeking his destruction? How might you, dear reader, be confident when encircled by your own spiritual and physical enemies? How might you experience God’s protection in “the day of trouble,” verse 5?
Read verses 4 through 6 of Psalm 27, and notice, in the first place, David’s single-mindedness of purpose. Do you see it in verse 4?
“One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after…” That “one thing” equals godly priorities: the priorities “to dwell,” “to behold,” and “to inquire.” In other words, King David had a preoccupation with the things of God.
God had commended David to “seek ye my face,” verse 8, and David obeyed God. Therein lies the secret of David’s confidence in God and overcoming those who wish to do him harm. He defeated fear by desiring above all else to “dwell in the house of the Lord all his days, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
In the second place, David was confident in God because of what God had done for him in the past, verse 9b; “Thou who has been my help.”
God had never failed! He trusted God, and he had such faith in God that he could say even if “my father and my mother have forsaken me, the Lord will take me up,” verse 10.
Dear reader, do you have that kind of trust in God? A trust that even transcends the closest of earthly relationships? If so, in spite of enemies both physical and spiritual, you should proclaim with David, this psalm now having come full circle from verse 1 to verse 13, “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
But there is one more thing: “We must be patient, verse 14.
“Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord!”
For those who are puffed up with self-importance, verse 14 will always be a great difficulty. But if we value who it is we are waiting on, the Lord God Almighty, then we will be more than happy to wait upon him.
So take heart, dear reader, trust in the Lord, “seek his face,” desire to “behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple,” for then you will have the confidence of David, verse 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 set me high upon a rock.”