Sunday, July 6, 2014

I’ve been trying do these reflections on the Psalms in order, but this is one favorite I keep coming back to ... another sweet, lovely piece that needs very little commentary.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

Think of the whole contingent of our adversaries. All those who oppose us, whether in human form or not. What is even the sum of those, compared to the God of the universe?

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

This is not “going to church” every day. This is communing with God in the sanctuary of our own heart ... living with such a sense of His presence that we are there, continually, in the throne room of heaven. And there, in His presence, we are hidden away when trouble assails us.

The thing is ... do we believe this?

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Too many of us have had the experience of parents turning away from us, and however we steel ourselves to the disappointment, the fact remains that it hurts ... because the most basic human expectation is that our parents will love us, care for us, be there for us. And regardless of how well our first caregivers met that expectation, or didn’t, the Lord is there, and will take care of us.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Here is the thing that keeps us going, when everything around us crumbles. We believe in heaven—that someday, sometime, we will see God, and He’ll make everything right, and soothe our pain and fears once and for all—but do we still believe there is yet hope for this life? That someday, somehow, we’ll live to see God’s goodness, here on earth?

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

And once again we are reminded that in the waiting itself, strength is found.

Yes, Lord! Help us believe. Help us to wait.


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