Psalms 27

23

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 27

Of David.

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.

Lord, please let me break this down in a way that not only helps me to have a closer relationship with you, but will touch someone who reads this and bring them closer to you as well. I pray this in your Son’s precious, perfect name. Amen.

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?

As an incest survivor who has pretty much been there and done that for every horrific thing most sane people can think of; I have had a lot of moments of my life that were spent in abject fear. They can still without warning, reach up and seize me around the throat, making it hard for me to breathe or to think. I just want to curl up in a ball and fade away some place where whatever or whoever can not get me.

When I decided to accept the gift of salvation, I knew that when the fear happens I can call out, “Jesus!” and it will bring me peace, lessen my fear, chase away the shadows. And when I was little my Grandmommy would often say these two verses when I had a nightmare or was afraid of something.

However, it was not until I read them the first time for myself with my new eyes that I truly realized what these verses mean.

The Lord: omnipresent, omnipotent, able to be all places, at all times, always. The creator of the universe and the one who makes the sun rise and the tides ebb. The one who knows love so boundless, that he gave his only son, his only son, so that I ( major sinner) could have everlasting life. The one who became flesh, who broke himself apart, who suffered the indignities and persecution of lesser beings, so that those he loved could someday call on Him and be saved from the pit. The one who has lifted me out of some really dark, awful places and put me on safe, steady ground. This is the one who is MY light and MY salvation. This is the one who is MY stronghold and MY salvation.

Stronghold: a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack. (Definition From The New Oxford Revised Dictionary, 2010)

Salvation: preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.  (Definition From The New Oxford Revised Dictionary, 2010)

So, these verses are God telling me that He will be my stronghold and my salvation. Really, when I looked at this way, why should there be anything on this or any other plane that I am afraid of. No one will ever be mightier, stronger, a better warrior, more trustworthy, more faithful, and more on the job, then God. No one can beat Him, best Him, outthink Him, outrun Him, overpower Him, get around Him or fool Him. So who or what does that leave me to fear? No one.

No memory, evil, person, thing, no thing, no one will ever take me from the Lord, though my body might and can be hurt, my soul, my spirit, who I really am, where I truly reside can never be harmed in any way because The Lord is my place to rest and be protected.

Wow.

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.

These verses remind me that even when the odds seem impossible, that I will be alright. I think here I might detour from the conventional thinking on these verses, just a little. For me, these verses serve to remind me that even though He may not allow me to triumph over whatever is blocking my path, I will still be alright. He is still Lord, and though my flesh may perish or the way get rockier or it seems like the campaign is going to the enemy, I will triumph. It may not be in a way that I can see, but my foes will not have victory over me. They can’t because The Lord is my stronghold. Whatever may happen, and life is not always a sun-filled meadow, The Lord is still going to take care of me. It may not be the way I would want, or the way that may seem so obvious, but I will be fine when the battle is done. I might be sitting in Heaven rejoicing all day long, I may not have what I once had, I may lose someone I thought I couldn’t live without, but I will not be left to pick up the pieces all alone, He will be there and He will dry my tears.

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.

These verses always bring to mind the disciples out on the stormy seas, afraid, while Jesus peacefully slept. They were freaking out, sure the sea was going to swallow them any moment and their teacher, their protector, their friend, was sound asleep. He knew that He could calm the sea whenever He wished. When they woke Him, He told them to be quiet, to relax, to chill out and remember who they were travelling with. He took them from the stormy sea and placed them safely on the shore, out of harm’s way. However, before He did that He taught them one of the most valuable lessons to be learned in this life’s journey. That if you keep your eyes on the beauty of the Lord, never looking down, or to the right or the left, you will not fall. And if you do fall, He will not allow you to perish. So, when my path is stormy and I am troubled and it seems like wherever I turn there is something that would devour me. If I fix my eyes upon the wonderous beauty of the Lord and seek Him, I will be  reminded that I am safe, that He will keep me in His arms. And if I need Him to, He will carry me out of the storm and take me to a place of peace, high above all things that can trouble me. There is such comfort here. Just as I suppose He intended for there to be.

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.

This reminds me to thank the Lord, with prayer, with songs, with shouts of joy, to never forget that He has saved me from my enemies, placed me out of their reach, He has made for me a place where I am able to go whenever I wish and I am instantly protected from harm. And so, I will praise Him in every way I know how, for He owed me nothing and He knows not only can I not pay Him back, but I will mess up again and He still provided this place of shelter in Him, for me. I guess that is why I have always loved the song, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my heart longeth after you. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you. You alone are my strength, my shield, to you alone will my spirit yield. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you.” (As The Deer, Martin J. Nystrom, 1981). or “I love you Lord, and I life my voice. To worship Him, oh , my soul rejoice. Take comfort Lord, in what you hear, let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.” (I Love You Lord, Laurie Klein, 1978). These two songs are simple in their lyrics and easily hummable all day. They work to remind you who holds you, who protects you and keeps you and to praise the Lord and you are calling on Him while you are singing His praises. Because, when I call on Him, He will be merciful and answer me. Scripture applied to life and working in the here and now. I love this!

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.

I will just be honest and admit that no matter how many times I study these verses, do they make sense to me. My heart does say, “Seek His Face!”. It cries out to Him in prayer and in song,  and I wake up with Him on my mind every morning. And as my relationship with Him grows closer, I want more and more to live as a living sanctuary to Him, a beacon for the world of what the Lord can do. To tell how He has rescued me and saved me, how many times He has picked me up and placed me out of harm’s way. I cannot imagine not wanting to seek Him for the rest of my life or not wanting to praise Him. However, the Lord that I have come to know, even in anger would not turn away from me! He might and probably often does, shake His head and say, “There she goes again. My child, my child! Angel please watch over her until she comes to her senses and cries out for me. Then put her back on the path.” But once I accept the covering of The Lamb’s blood, God will never turn from me or forsake me. He will never reject me. I might, if I totally lose all sense of reason, reject Him, but He will not reject me. He said so, He doesn’t lie, so I believe Him. He is my Savior, even when I am too silly or stubborn to obey Him. He will let me get into trouble when I stray, but He will not leave me alone to face this world. So, these verses do not make sense to me. He is my helper, my protector, my father, my friend and I know I anger Him from time to time, but He will not turn from me. I can quote other Bible verses that prove it.

Hebrews 13: 5b – God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Romans 8:1 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 8:38-9 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

The last one there has gotten me through some very terrifying situations, because it was God’s word reminding me that no matter what, I cannot be torn from Him and He will never allow any of those things to separate me from Him.

The next part for me, is like the writer came back to himself and realized that this is his Savior, his Stronghold, his Solid Ground.

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.

Though I cannot imagine a world where my family would turn their backs on me and leave me alone, it is possible because for all the many things that make them remarkable, they are still mere human beings.  However, no matter what God will welcome me with open arms, He will dust me off and set me back on the right path, the path that leads to everlasting life. Even when, which again it is hard for me to imagine, my enemies and oppressors get passed my family and passed me, which is not easy to do these days. And they knock me off the path or they whisper slyly in my ear about something over there that is off the path. God, is ever teaching me more each day about the path and He will put me back on it , if I ask Him. Now these verses, I can understand, because this is how time alone with Him makes me feel, that no matter how bad I might mess up or how mighty the mountain might seem or how fierce the enemy might appear, The Lord, will lead me on a straight, clear path to Him. Which is exactly where I want to go.

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.

We live in a world where if you turn left, people will be talking about how you should have turned right and the fact that you didn’t means that you are x,y,and z. Or if you marry someone older than you, you are a gold digger. If you marry someone younger than you, you are a cougar or after a trophy wife.They even goes as far as to say that if you marry someone your age, that it will never last. Basically, if you say the sky is blue, there will people lined up to tell you you are wrong and they also tell anyone who will listen. These verses remind me that even though someone might be out there talking about me, criticizing me, telling lies about me, I know and trust the goodness of the Lord and He will always see and know me. So, instead of trying to right gossip or defend myself against idiots, I should take strength in the Lord and let him do what needs doing to allow me to continue on.

So, to recap, God is my protector, my shelter, my stronghold. He will never leave me nor forsake, he will always show me how to keep walking through this life to Him. There is no one or nothing that can take me from Him and though many might try they will not succeed. There is comfort and reassurance in every line of this Psalm. And the picture of a loving God who is always listening and will always be there.

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