Read Psalm 27
1 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?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 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.
5 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.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27 is marked by one word: confidence. This psalm, like many penned by David thus far, was written in a season of trouble. As we read it, it’s easy to empathize with that feeling David has—the world is caving in all around him. He experienced high highs and low lows and this is yet another chapter in David’s rollercoaster life. While this psalm has a lament in the middle, it begins and ends with the utmost confidence that the Lord is in control and that He is good. His faith is confident. He knew where his hope should be found.
Lament is common throughout the psalms, but this one reads differently. Instead of wallowing in his circumstances, David is asking God to help him stay focused. He asks for help keeping his gaze on the beauty of the Lord. He asks that God will keep him safe and be merciful towards him. Then towards the end, he asks that God will teach him His ways and lead him down a straight path. This feels relatable to us. Sometimes when life feels chaotic, our prayer should default to “God, please help me stay focused on what really matters” instead of “God, get me out of this (and the quicker the better).”
Reading this psalm as Christ followers brings to mind the words that the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:31-39. In that passage, Paul recounts several reasons for believers to be confident in God. He reminds his readers that God is for us, that He is gracious, that Christ Jesus is interceding for us, and that nothing (yes, nothing) can separate us from the love of God. Paul’s life had been radically transformed by the Gospel. He understood the weight of his sin and the undeserved gift of grace. He had experienced some of those same highs and lows that David had. He knew where his hope should be found, too.
The story of Scripture, from start to finish, shows us time and time again that our hope isn’t found in the things of this world, but instead in God alone. This psalm serves as a reminder that we can remain confident that we, too, will see the goodness of the Lord.
- Would those around you say your life is marked by confidence in God? Why or why not?
- Do you find yourself getting distracted and taking your eyes off of Jesus throughout the day? What’s one step you can take today to move towards refocusing your heart?
- Read Romans 8:31-39. Which verse sticks out to you the most? How can you hold true to those truths today?