Beginning in Psalm 27:1, David praises God’s strength in his life. He expresses confidence in God’s ability to deliver him from various tragedies and difficulties. He expresses his desire to worship his God in joy. The first six verses declare trust and confidence, but the tone changes in verses 7-12 where he entreats God not to hide His face. David expresses fear of those plotting against him, and a study of his life demonstrates the reasons behind those fears.
David’s Life of Adversity
We are introduced to David in his defeat of the Philistine warrior Goliath, but his life becomes more difficult from this point. In I Samuel 21:1-10, David is fleeing for his life, and king Saul murderously pursues him. Those who assist him are murdered in the very next chapter, deaths for which David feels responsible. In chapter 23, David has to flee even after defending a city from the Philistines, and I Samuel 25:44 records Saul giving David’s wife to another man. He is forced to hide among rocks and caves. In II Samuel 15:13-14, King David’s own son Absalom plots against him. David again has to flee for his life. David’s life is full of danger and distress, and he approaches God with these concerns even when expressing his joy in the Lord as he does in Psalm 27.
Psalm 27:13-14 conclude David’s thoughts. Even feeling forsaken by all around him, he sings of his belief that he will again see God’s goodness. He instructs himself and us to wait on the Lord in His time. It is reminiscent of Moses comforting the Israelites before the Red Sea when he calls upon them to be still. It is a lesson of patience and fortitude, and it is often difficult to be patient. Wait for the Lord.
Trusting in the Lord
What does it meant to wait for the Lord? It is about trusting in God and looking to Him for answers. When Moses called upon the people of Israel to be still, he wasn’t calling upon them to remain inactive. He was calling upon them to remain calm and be ready to respond when God’s deliverance was made available. There are some things we must do if we are waiting on the Lord.
- Continual Fellowship with God. I John 1:6 encourages active involvement in our relationship with God. If I am looking to God, I must be in communion with Him.
- Constant prayer. I Thessalonians 5:17 calls upon us to pray continuously. We pray to God in good times and in bad. We speak with our God regularly to help maintain that relationship He desires.
- Remain in His presence. The entire book of Hebrews warns against the dangers of drifting away from God. Chapter 2:1, 4:16, and 6:1 call us to draw near to God, so we may trust in Him.
- Stay in the fight. I Kings 19 sees Elijah in fear of his life (much like David is time and again), and verse 18 records God reminding Elijah that he is not alone.
In His Time; In His Way
We have to be patient with God and remind ourselves that His time is not our time. God has never promised He will remove our trials, nor has He promised to make life easy. He may not even let us know the reason for our trials, but He has promised that our trials would make us stronger. James 1:2-3 tells us the testing of our faith produces endurance. In James 5:16, the author writes that our prayers for each other work, and we can better comfort one another if we have been prepared to do so through our own. Finally, God promises these trials will draw us nearer to Him. James 4:8 says that God draws nearer to us when we draw near to Him.
Like David, we can grow spiritually when facing the trials of this life. We can find peace and strength in Him. We can wait for God with the hope that we will dwell with Him forever in His house.
lesson by Tim Smelser