May 5, 2020 by Bob Whitaker
“The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” There is an obvious answer to that question – NO ONE! Why? Because in Psalm 27 the writer is trusting in the protection of a sovereign God. He is placing his faith in the one who is his Good Shepherd. It is almost a defiant question that is quickly answered in verse 3; “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” This Psalm of David is a confident song that grows out of his real life experience. Pursued by King Saul, he consistently trusted in God for the deliverance, confident in his Good Shepherd, resting under the shadow of the almighty. As you read on you will find that his confidence is coupled with a petition that almost seems contrary to his security – “Do not turn me over to the desires of my foes…” There is always a realism in the Psalms of David, confidence and concern, boldness and honest cries for help. These are not contradictory themes which indicate a spiritual instability but instead they are a realistic trust in a wise and loving God.
David’s words might remind you of the Apostle in Romans 8, “If God is for us who can be against us…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ…In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” These words of David and Paul are not unrealistic pieces of poetry, pie-in-the-sky platitudes. Instead, they are penned by men who endured significant suffering, both internal and external. In both of these individuals you will find a common theme that transcends the ordinary and difficult circumstances of life. In the midst of daily life their focus is on the eternal nature of God. David says, “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 upon him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
If we took these words literally it would imply that David wanted to be a priest in the Tabernacle of God, dwelling there always. However, we know this was not a real possibility since he was not from a priestly tribe and furthermore he was a king. His words express a longing that is deeply spiritual, a desire to always be in the unbroken presence of God – a place of eternal safety and comfort. Like David, the apostles, saints and martyrs embraced an otherworldly perspective that gave eternal meaning to the ordinary and often difficult circumstances of life. No matter what happened they could rest under the shadow of the almighty.