By Diane Caston
I think everyone should have their own go-to Psalm, the one that has brought you specific comfort and solace in difficult times. It’s the Psalm you know to share with those who are in need - who are going through trouble. Psalm 27 is my Psalm. I can’t count how many times it has been a reminder to me of the care of my Lord in my life. I can’t count how many times I have repeated these words to myself to remind myself of how the Lord feels about me. I can’t count how many times in a hospital or in a conversation at church or work I have shared these words with others in need.
This Psalm is so familiar to me that I almost feel that it doesn’t need any commentary. I could just read it to you, but let’s dig and look a little deeper.
Read the Psalm
Since our format is devotional, I am only going to key in on some specific verses here and their encouragement to us.
Vs. 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
Whenever I hear these verses I think of an old song we used to sing at CCCM, and whenever I am afraid (which happens a lot less now than when I was younger) I will sing these verses. They are such a good reminder that I have the power of heaven and earth at my disposal, because the Lord of the universe loves and cares about me!
The Lord is my Light - Many situations that bring fear involve the dark. It is usually at night that we get afraid. I had an wicked brother who used to hide in the bushes, and when I walked home from my girlfriend’s house at night he would jump out at me! I don’t think I’ve completely forgiven him yet! ;) I used to love scary movies when I was younger. Now they are just wrong! They are of the darkness. The Lord is my light. There is no longer a reason to be afraid of the dark. He is able to bring light into any situation that I face.
John 8:12 “I am the light of the world.”
Jn. 1:4-5 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” It is so sad that there are those who will not see!
Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”
His light illuminates the very heart of men. It reaches into the dark places if we will let it. I don’t know how many of you know Nabeel Quershi. He was a 34-year-old former Muslim who came to Christ. He just lost a year long battle with stomach cancer leaving behind a wife and little daughter. At his funeral, Ravi Zacharias noted that Nabeel understood the true nature of sin. It is a blindness; it is death; it is separation from God. The people who walked in darkness saw a great light. We can all say that, can’t we? It was as if we were blind before He turned the light on in our lives.
He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22 There is no deceiving the Lord. He knows what happens in the darkness. He even knows the darkness in our hearts! He reveals the secret things. Did you ever notice that it is the things you can’t see that scare you the most? When the light is turned on the fear goes away. He dwells in the light; we are safe in Him.
“ who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light,.” 1 Tim. 6:16
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
He rescued us out of the darkness, the darkness around us, and our own personal darkness. He saves us. He alone is our salvation. What do we have to fear? He has called us into His marvelous light! It is clarity; it is freedom; it is peace, to walk in this marvelous light!
What kind of fears do you have? Fear of dark, fear of failure, fear of abduction, fear for your health, fear in relationships, fear you’re not good enough, fear of death, fear for your finances, fear for your children, fear you might fail?
Believe it or not, fearful or difficult times are good. They are actually some of the trials we are supposed to rejoice over, because when we are afraid, when we are weak, we cry out to the Lord! We get desperate! We were lost, He came to give us light. We still stumble; He came to give us strength. Darkness=evil, fear, loneliness, depression; but light=goodness and joy. Let Him have your fears.
“I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” Ps.34:4
Ps. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. His word is key to knowing Him and walking in the light!
The Lord is the strength of my life – We don’t need to be afraid when we are weak, because He is our strength. On Christ the solid rock I stand, safe from the storms of life. The enemy uses strongholds in our lives: alcohol, drugs, depression, pornography, anxiety, food, covetousness, jealousy. Satan wants to hold us captive, but God is our stronghold.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe” Prov. 18:10
We can take refuge in Him. When we ask, He will be there. He will be our hiding place. Just like Corrie Ten Boom who hid Jews during the Holocaust. She hid God’s people, so He hid her in His secret place when she was in the concentration camp. Her hiding place was a barrack full of fleas, but the fleas kept away the guards, so they were free to pray and seek the Lord! If you haven’t read her book, The Hiding Place, you should!
Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’ His arms are underneath us to hold us up. He will deal with the enemy.
2 Samuel 22:3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold, and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.
Psalm 28:8 The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
We could go on and on. Refuge is a great word to do some in-depth study on.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Definition of Pavilion: thicket, lair, covert, booth
Definition of Tabernacle: (tent-meaning a nomad's tent, and thus symbolic of wilderness life, home, habitation, the sacred tent of Jehovah (the tabernacle)
When we realize who our Lord is to us, our light, our salvation, our strength - our response is a desire to be with Him, to know Him personally, to know Him more. It becomes the one thing, the most important thing in our lives, for all of our lives. There we see His beauty, beauty beyond anything this world could offer. We experience the peace and longing of our hearts, what we were created for. One desire- seek the Lord, inquire in His temple. There we will be held and protected from the cares and dangers of this world.
We won’t have the light & strength we need without knowing Him deeply. If we do seek Him, He will hide us. We will have victory. We will have fellowship - communion with Him. We can prepare for the onslaught ahead of time. Knowing it’s coming, we arrange our days to spend time in his hiding place - In His secret place – the temple – the place I can go when I’m misunderstood, when I feel rejected when no one else seems to care or understand what I’m going through, the Lord does. People cannot understand the things that are so personal to us. They can emphasize, but they just don’t know. Our Savior will take me to His hiding place, cover me and care for me, because He completely understands.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Ps. 50:15
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear What can flesh do to me? Ps. 56:3-4
“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Sam 7:47
How many times do we think the battle is ours and we try to fight in our own strength, but we have no strength. The strength belongs to Him.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” 2 Cor. 10:4
The Tabernacle is the place where his glory dwells. Remain in His presence, and you will get to see Him and His work. Inquire in His temple. Where are you inquiring? He lifts us up and answers us. And what is the result of this special protection? We give sacrifices of joy and praise. We cannot contain the praise and worship and thankfulness we have towards Him!
Ps 84 1-4 How lovely is Your tabernacle (or dwelling place), O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young. Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You.
There are many stark contrasts in this Psalm. We see dark discouraging words like:
fear, afraid, wicked, enemies, foes, army, war, trouble, forsake, adversaries, false witnesses, violence, real threats, even parental abandonment.
But contrast those words with the encouraging words like:
light, salvation, strength, confident, desire, dwell, beauty, secret place, tabernacle, hide me, set me on a rock, sacrifices of joy, praises to the Lord, take care of me, goodness of the Lord, courage, strengthen your heart.
These contrasts are part of the human condition. The two sides are always there. It is a matter of which way we turn, where we turn our attention. We are alive in a fallen world full of sin and temptation, but the Lord has made a way for us. The Godly woman knows where to turn and is disciplining herself to turn there. Open your eyes to see. Change your thinking. He is for us. He wants us to see His power in the battle, personally, in your families, in your relationships, and in our world. The Lord is MY light. The Lord is MY salvation. The Lord is MY strength. He is our hiding place. He is our Rock. All we have need of is in Him.
Ps. 43:3 “Send out your light and truth and let them lead me Lord.” Turn to the Lord. He is your salvation. Inquire here, wait here, praise here.
Ps. 61:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Revelation 22:5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.