SIH’s Think On These Things: Psalms 27:1
[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.
One [thing] have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, [when] I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.[When thou saidst], Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
Hide not thy face [far] from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.[I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
As we will see in our series, King David addresses many of the same issues that each and every one of us faces when we are in the midst of the most difficult, fearful situations of life. May the Lord honor this study in His Word, by granting to us the truths of this Psalm and their practical application to our life.
“[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
In this opening verse of Psalm 27: we find David describing the Lord in three different ways:
1. “my light” or “the One that opens my eyes of perception and understanding”
David is acknowledging the Lord was the source of all knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It was the Lord, and the Lord alone, that could enable David to understand the appropriate response to the difficulties he faced in life.
2. “my salvation” or “my Deliverer” –
David knew that the Lord was the only One that could bring him through his fiery trials unharmed. By giving the Lord the title “Deliverer”, David was not implying the Lord would always, immediately, remove his trials from him. On the contrary, David was simply stating that he knew that his trial would not last forever and that the Lord would keep him safe in the midst of it.
3. “the strength of my life” or “the place of defense and safety of my life” –
David, through previous life experiences had learned that, during times of great difficulty, it was to the Lord that he was to flee. Other family members, friends, and acquaintances could never be fully relied upon. Many of David’s closest companions and family members had failed him during the course of his life. But there was One that was ALWAYS faithful to David, being a sure rock of strength, defense and safety for him…. His Lord!
Along with David’s acknowledgment of his need of the Lord during times of great distress, he also came to another conclusion as well…. Because of His Lord, he never needed to fear.
David used two different words to describe his fear. In the phrase “whom shall I fear?” , we find the Hebrew word “yare”; while in the phrase “whom shall I be afraid?”, we find the Hebrew word “pachad” used.
By understanding the difference between these two words, we can gain important insight into the fear we face in our lives…
1. “yare” – describes the cause of fear.
Basically, this word carries with it the idea of something that is harmful and overwhelming.
This helps us to understand that the greatest cause of our fear involves seeing something as a threat and believing that we will be overwhelmed and unable to stand against it nor stop it from taking place.
2. “pachad” –describes the results of fear.
This word carries with it the idea of trembling, startled, terrified and weakened (due to shock).
This helps us to understand the effects that will be manifested in our lives when fear indwells us.
We will find ourselves:
a. recognizing our total impotence against it and unmotivated to attempt to stand against the threat;
b. mentally paralyzed and unable to make proper decisions;
c. possessing a distorted view of the situation and, therefore, be unable to recognize the appropriate course of action to take.
What is the remedy for this fear?
For the Christian, it is to keep our minds on our Lord, His everlasting presence in our lives, His promises given to us, and His Sovereignty over all situations in our lives. Stop and think about it…
1. If we recognize He is in control of all our life’s circumstances (Daniel 4:34-35) and that He promises that all things will work for our good (Romans 8:28), we will come to a quick recognition that even this trial will not harm us but is placed in our life for our benefit and spiritual growth.
2. When we understand He will always be with us and will constantly work on our behalf (Romans 8:35-40), we will come to an understanding that this threat will not overtake us, but will be constantly under the control of a loving Lord.
These truths will do away with both causes of our fear that David has outlined for us. Therefore, we will be able to stand strongly in the face of the trial at hand knowing our Lord is with us every step of the way…
“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine…
When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)