Advent Day 7: Psalm 27:0-14

Our seventh Advent reading is Psalm 27:0-14:

Of David.
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
whom should I dread?
When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh,
my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.
Though an army deploys against me,
my heart will not be afraid;
though a war breaks out against me,
I will still be confident.

I have asked one thing from the LORD;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the LORD
and seeking him in his temple.
For he will conceal me in his shelter
in the day of adversity;
he will hide me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
Then my head will be high
above my enemies around me;
I will offer sacrifices in his tent with shouts of joy.
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

LORD, hear my voice when I call;
be gracious to me and answer me.
My heart says this about you:
“Seek his face.”
LORD, I will seek your face.
Do not hide your face from me;
do not turn your servant away in anger.
You have been my helper;
do not leave me or abandon me,
God of my salvation.
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the LORD cares for me.

Because of my adversaries,
show me your way, LORD,
and lead me on a level path.
Do not give me over to the will of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing violence.

I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart be courageous.
Wait for the LORD.

How can you find peace… when your parents have abandoned you? When war breaks out against you? When evildoers stalk you?

But the Psalmist asks, whom shall I fear?

There’s no denying the reality of oppression and evil — and suffering.

But our confidence — and peace — is grounded in the reality of God’s presence and protection.

We see also that the Psalmist’s greatest desire is to know God’s presence. He sought God in the Temple.

But now… we are God’s temple! As Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 6:19,

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

We have greater access to knowing God personally and intimately.

It is particularly in the stressful, painful, and even life-threatening situations of life that we need to know God’s care. And we need his wisdom to walk in his ways.

Personal Reflection and Community Discussion Questions:

  1. We all experience difficult circumstances. What’s the practical difference in knowing “the God of my salvation” in the midst of them?

  2. What are some specific ways you have learned to “wait on the Lord”?

You are encouraged to share other reflections on these passages.

You can find this week’s Advent 2021 readings here:

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Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect peace (shalom shalom), him whose mind is steadfast (stayed, at rest) because he trusts in you. (NIV)

How often, in the midst of trouble and oppression, especially when troubled by people, we tend to lose our focus on God and seek distraction or relief elsewhere. At least, that is the issue in my case. The reality however, is that true peace comes only in His presence. It is often a lack of trust that God will deliver, that He will be true to his word. One wise man said that all of our life is a training to answer the one question, “Can God really be trusted?”

The testimony of David, and indeed of the cloud of witnesses in the Bible is that God, indeed can be trusted. True peace is only when we seek His face, and rest in trust.

Recently, there have been a list of people who have sought to trouble me, legally, with falsehood, threatening violence and trouble. This led to a feeling of ‘betrayal’ by God - why didn’t He help me when I needed it the most - and months of depression and wandering away from the only source of genuine comfort. The psalmist David was someone very familiar with people causing trouble, despair and violence. His solution was to ‘Seek His face’. And I agree wholeheartedly - our peace and salvation is only in His presence.

Psalm 16:11 - In your presence is fullness of joy.