Psalm 27, 1-10, 17
The Lord is my revelation-light to guide me along the way;
he’s the source of my salvation to defend me every day.
I fear no one!
I’ll never turn back and run from you, Lord;
surround and protect me.
When evil ones come to destroy me,
they will be the ones who turn back.
My heart will not be afraid even if an army rises to attack.
I know that you are there for me, so I will not be shaken.
Here’s the one thing I crave from God,
the one thing I seek above all else:
I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house,
finding the sweet loveliness of his face,
filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace.
I want to live my life so close to him
that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.
In his shelter in the day of trouble, that’s where you’ll find me,
for He hides me there in His holiness.
He has smuggled me into his secret place,
where I’m kept safe and secure—
out of reach from all my enemies.
Triumphant now, I’ll bring him my offerings of praise,
singing and shouting with ecstatic joy!
Yes, listen and you can hear
the fanfare of my shouts of praise to the Lord!
God, hear my cry. Show me, your grace.
Show me mercy, and send the help I need!
Lord, when you said to me, “Seek my face,”
my inner being responded,
“I’m seeking your face with all my heart.”
So don’t hide yourself, Lord, when I come to find you.
You’re the God of my salvation;
how can you reject your servant in anger?
You’ve been my only hope,
so don’t forsake me now when I need you!
My father and mother abandoned me. I’m like an orphan!
But you took me in and made me yours.
Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!
Psalm 27 is a song of confidence, like Psalm 23, followed by a lament. It may be two independent psalms, or it can be seen as one psalm describing the experience of a fugitive, who seeks refuge in the temple. On the way he sings of his confidence in the Lord, and on arrival pours out his distress.
The psalmist is suffering from enemies, who tear him apart. His complete trust in God is his light and deliverer, which cast out his fear.
His one desire is to reach the temple. There he will find refuge and contemplate the beauty of the place.”Behold the beauty of the Lord” may mean looking at the ark.
“In the day of trouble”, when his enemies come forward to condemn him, he will be exalted over them, as the rock on which the temple stood was exalted over Jerusalem. In gratitude he will present a thank offering.
This is followed by a prayer for hearing, acceptance, guidance and deliverance. At the end, he is urged to show strength and courage and to wait expectantly for the saving power of God.
We can sometimes find ourselves in situations which we can’t control. We can be attacked for our faith, accused of hypocrisy, or meet indifference. We may have difficult decisions to make, experience relationship problems, or be faced with a problem like the current pandemic, which changes our lives and makes us feel vulnerable and uncertain.
But for us, Jesus Christ is ‘our light and salvation’, he is the face of God, coming to be with us and alongside us in this world. He showed us that God is always present, that love is always there and even increases in times of trouble, as happens in times of war or, as we are now seeing, in a crisis such as the present pandemic.
We can go to our own thin place, a place where you are close to God, where we can find peace and be aware of the presence of God, our light in the midst of the troubles of the world. Then, like the psalmist, we shall praise God and find our peace.
God, our light and our salvation, illuminate our lives, that we may see your goodness in the land of the living, and, looking on your beauty, may be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.