Psalm 27:1-14

Like the 23rd Psalm, Psalm 27 eloquently expresses a central theme of the biblical faith: trust in the Lord. Also like the 23rd Psalm, Psalm 27 looks realistically at a fear-filled world that surrounds us and threatens to overcome us, yet the Psalmist insists, I will trust in the Lord.

Verse 1 states the clear theme of the passage: “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” But then we read of trials and terrors being faced by the Psalmist: “my enemies rise up to oppose me, a hostile army is ready to attack me, my enemies are lying about me, my enemies are prepared to hurt me, and all the while God seems hidden and to have forsaken me.” In desperation the Psalmist screams out for help, facing overwhelming threats and fears.

Then there is a pause… who knows for how long the Psalmist waits in hopeful silence. When finally the waiting is over, we are advised in the last verse: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.” Against every enemy that one can imagine the Lord prevails. In the end the Psalmist proclaims with confidence: “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

How do we move from fear to trust? In his time of trouble and need the Psalmist asked for only one thing, to be in the presence of God. In God’s presence the Psalmist finds salvation to overcome all enemies, light to drive out all darkness, and strength to uphold us in all of our moments of weakness.

Prayer: In times of fear and doubt, Lord, let me see your presence that I may trust in you alone.

Tom Graves