good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Psalm 27

King James Virson is the only Bible I use and it is the best...

Psalm 27 (kjv)

1 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?

2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

9 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.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, the the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of min enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mune enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27 has always been my favorite, I think, mostly because it is a well-spring of encouragement and confidence in the Lord. If you know anything about what King David was going through when the Holy Spirit inspired him to pen this particular psalm, then you can see how it's words can be so compelling when a Christian is going through a difficult time.

When I read what John White had to say about the 27th Psalm in his study book "Songs That Touch The Heart: selected Psalms" I wanted to share it with others. I agree with what Mr. White had to say and truely believe that it is through the Lord that he was given such insight into the words of this piece of scripture. So I have taken this and typed it here so that others may read it.

Confidence and Crying

Psalm 27

The Lord is worthy of the believer's confidence.

Can confidence and crying exist in the same person at the same time? As we first consider it, this combination may seem impossible. But after we consider it further, we realize that crying, or pleading, is often based upon confidence.

In Psalm 27 David expressed great confidence in God. In the first six verses of the psalm express this great trust. In the last six verses David cried out to God with a pleading prayer. He built his prayer life upon the foundation of confidence. Because of God's past care for the king, David knew God would hear and answer his prayer for the problems he faced day by day.

Confidence Quiets Fears

Having declared that Jehovah was his light and his salvation, David asked the question, "Whom shal I fear?" (Ps. 27:1). The obvious answer is no one. God provided light in his life; therefore, David was unafraid of the sin around him.

Many people fear the dark, where unseen and unknown things lurk. However, when they see those things in the light of day, they feel no fear.

Tiffany Marie was a happy little girl and a genuine pleasure to her parents. One evening after her parents had put her to bed, she became restless and began to scream. Her mother rushed to the room and picked her up. After Tiffany had quieted down, her mother put her back to bed; but as she left the room, Tiffany began to scream again. Night after night this problem continued without relief.

The worried mother urged her husband to do something about the situation. So one night he went to Tiffany's room and sat down beside her. His wife turned out the light and left the room. Suddenly he saw something he had not noticed before. A sreetlight down the block shone through the branches of the trees outside Tiffany's window. It cast shadows on the wall at the foot of the bed. As the wind blew gently, the branches seemed to reach down toward the bed with grotesquely shaped fingers.

Tiffany began to scream. Her father wanted to scream with her. But understanding that the grasping hands were only shadows on the wall, he got up and turned on a little light. With a flick of the switch, the terrible shadows of the darkness disappeared, and so did the little girl's fears. Tiffany slept peacefully thereafter because she had nothing to fear. The light had removed the imagined foes of darkness.

All of us have been afraid of the darkness of the world about us. We have cried to the Lord, and He has come to dispel the darkness and doubt. He has taken away the confusion and stumbling caused by sin and has restored our confidence. Thus the Lord has become our light, even as He was David's light.

David declared that the Lord was also his salvation and the strength of his life (v.1). Time after time God intervened to deliver the psalmist and strengthen him to live his life as he faced wild animals and the willful men of his day. As the strength of David's life, God stepped in to becomea shield, a wall and hedge when David desperately needed protection (Ps. 3:3; 28:7; 33:20; 84:11; 115:9-11; 119:114; 144:2).

Confidence Conquers Foes

In Psalm 27:2 David testified, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." David did not play the peer-group game; he was able to stand alone. He did not care whether an entire army set up camp against him (v.3). He knew that even if the odds were a thousand to one, everything would turn out all right because God would defeat his enemies.

Can you imagine a solitary figure facing an entire army in battle? The desperation of such a situation would drive that lone soldier to flight or dispair unless he knew that a supernatural force was on his side to defeat the foe.

When I was a young child, a recurring nightmare would occasionally disturb my nights. In my dream, everybody in school was against me. My brothers, who usually protected me, weren't around to help. The other students tried to beat me or throw desks at me, but somehow they could never actually get to me. An invisible field shielded me from my opponents, and when they ran into the shield, they were rebuffed or injured.

David knew that God had served as an invisible shield so that when his enemies approached him, they stumbled and fell (v.2). Their greatest efforts were insufficient to get them near the man of God.

Confidence Gives Calm

David explained that in the midst of the tumult coming against him, he would "not fear" (Ps. 27:3). His confidence in the Lord quieted his heart.

Sometimes the anticipation of problems causes a doubting Christian to be silent when he should speak and to retreat when he should fight. With clammy hands, he freezes in terror, waiting for the worst.

But great men of faith have a confidence in God that will not allow them to falter in the face of great odds. In the case of Old Testament men of God, their confidence gave them a powerful calm that took them from battle to battle, through clashing swords and prancing hooves to victory for God. (cf. Exod. 17:9-16; Judg. 6; 7; 1 Sam. 17:25-53).

Confidence Prompts Fellowship, Prayer and Praise

A desperate, fearful person has a tendency to be extrememly self-centered. He worries about what will happen to him. He needs continual reassurance. Well-defined objectives give way to simple self-preservation. Preoccupation with problems inhibits ambition and saps strength. Movement gives way to lethargy, and accomplishment is swallowed up by defeat.

The man who has great confidence in God, however, takes certain well-defined steps that produce happy results. In Psalm 27:4 David recorded his desire to "dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of [his] life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple." "To enquire" means to pray. The temple hadn't been built in David's day; the word temple in this verse indicates a large public building.

David's words in verse 5 reflect his belief that God would take care of him: "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me." In response to God's protective care, David proclaimed, "Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord" (v.6b).

Thus we learn from David that the confident believer has victory over his enemies and creates sacrifices of joy through signing to and praising the Lord.

It is inappropriate to have undue confidence in ourselves in the humanistic sense, but it is appropriate to have confidence in God, knowing full well that with God on our side, we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37). We can look at the future with expectation and plan for accomplishments in the name of God, realizing that the One Who has begun a good work will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).

Having stated this confidence, David turned to prayer. Six specific requests came to his lips as he cried out to Jehovah.

A Cry for God's Attention

Each of us at some time has spoken to another person who did not listen. At times even God does not listen to the cries of men. Isaiah wrote, "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isa. 59:2).

When Elijah faced the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he pleaded for the ear of Jehovah: "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou has turned their heart back again" (1 Kings 18:37). David called for God's attention in Psalm 27:7: "Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me." Calling for God's attention demonstrates our intensity and sincerity of heart as God's children.

David desired for God to grant him His full attention concerning the problems he faced. In verse 8 David recorded his response; he told God, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." David obeyed the Lord by seeking Him, or calling for His attention.

A Cry for God's Assistance

Four strong requests in Psalm 27:9 indicate David's intense desire for God's assistance in his life. The fist, "Hide not thy face far from me," involves God's watchfulness. When a pilot flies his plane into heavy clouds, he wants to know that someone at a radar screen knows his location and the location of other planes in the vicinity. Without the watchful eye of the radar observer, he might collide with another plane. In a similar way, David requested God to keep His eye constantly on him to guide and guard him.

Second, David pled, "Put not thy servant away in anger." He did not want God to isolate him because of failure or sin in his life. Third, he requested, "Leave me not." David did not want God to turn His attention away from him.

Fourth, David asked God not to forsake him. David had no desire to be left to his own devices. He depened upon God and knew that no amount of his own knowledge or prowess could preserve him.

A Cry for God's Attachment

David wrote, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up" (Ps. 27:10). Family loyalty and protection are among the most precious possessions on earth. But today adults often leave children by themselves. They languish in neglect or seek the companionship and advice of peers who lead them astray. What a comfort it is to know that the Lord does not abandon His children, young or old.

A Cry for God's Advice

In Psalm 27:11a, David asked God, "Teach me thy way, O Lord." Every child of God needs to let God chart the course of his life lest he become confused by the storms and cross-currents of his environment. Desperation rises in the heart of a man lost in the forest without a compass, adrift on a sea without charts or wandering in the darkness without light.

God has graciously given us a chart and compass. It is His holy Word. In it He gives advice for any situation in life. David himself could tell the Lord, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps.119:105). Besides the infallible Guidebook, God has given to every believer a personal Interpreter and Guide, the Holy Spirit.

A Cry for an Uncluttered Life

In Psalm 27:11b David asked the Lord to lead him "in a plain path, because of [his] enemies." The word plain here means straight and carries the idea of moral straightness- righteous, or with equity and justice. David wanted God to spare him from paths strewn with trees, brush and rocks because his enemies often lurked along the path to destory him. He wanted an open road, where no enemy could attack him by surprise. He wanted God to keep his life free from the clutter that harbored his desperate foes.

Each of us believers should pray that prayer. When our lives become so filled with activities, involvements and investments that we cannot see clearly, our enemies-- whether they be men or demons-- attack and often defeat us. Single-minded simplicity furnishes a safe walkway for the child of God.

A Cry for an Undefeated Life

Although the events alluded to in Psalm 27 could apply to a number of different times in David's life, David may have written the psalm around the time his son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom had killed his half-brother Amnon for revenge and then fled (2 Sam. 13:22-30, 33, 38). David missed Absalom, so his servant Joab arranged for Absalom to return home (chap. 14). Two years later, David and Absalom were reunited. Absalom used this return to the king's favor for his own advantage. David was old and weak, so Absalom began judging the people (vv. 2-5), and he "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (v.6). Eventually he proclaimed himself king (vv.10-13), and David and his followers fled from Jerusalem (vv.14-17). At that point in David's life, his enemies included his son; his former counselor, Ahithophel (15:31); Shimei, an old enemy (16:13); and Ziba, who lied to him about Mephibosheth (vv.1-4).

David was physically and emotionally drained. He cried to God for his continued preservation: "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" (Ps. 27:12, 13). Only his faith in God kept David from giving up.

Having expressed his confidence and his cry, David concluded with verse 14: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." In time, Absalom was killed, and David returned to the throne (chaps. 18;19). God had heard and honored David's cry.

Like Daivd, we are at times physically exhausted; our firends and family disappoint us and sometimes even turn against us; the world opposes us. And we just want to give up. At those times we, like David, should recall "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living," should take courage and strength from our relationship with God and should wait on His deliverance.

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