A Meditation on Psalm 27
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?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
In Psalm 27, David cries out for help against his adversaries, a cry that is familiar to us by this point in the psalms. David adds another dimension to his lament by pairing it with his desire to dwell in God’s house. David explicitly ties his salvation to the house of the Lord in verse 5: “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” The house of God is not only David’s desire, it’s also the means of his salvation from his enemies, and it’s the place where he enjoys his salvation: “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy.”
Like David, we have adversaries and foes who assail us to eat up our flesh. In fact, Peter uses that exact language of the Adversary in 1 Pet 5.8: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” As God did with David, so He does with us. He saves us from our Adversary by hiding us under the cover of His tent, the new place where God has caused His name to dwell. The Body of Christ, His Church, is the house of God today. It is not a physical house, but a spiritual one, built of every faithful disciple of the Lord. In His wisdom, Our Lord uses each of us as a covering for our brother (a reality that we will see reflected in Jesus’ prayer in John 17).
In the midst of our spiritual affliction, let us cry out to the Lord, and let us fervently desire to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives. Let us offer our sacrifices of praise and of brotherly love as our God raises our head above our Enemy. Let us sing and make melody to the Lord. He has said, “Seek my face.” Let our hearts say to him, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”