Thursday, March 10
Reader: “The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—”
Response: “is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
Scripture: Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.
Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
This is an interesting psalm following yesterday’s passage in Job. Though Job addressed his friend’s charges outwardly as to his great losses, inwardly the Lord was his light and salvation. The Lord was his fortress, his anchor, even though it did not look like it. Job could not be persuaded otherwise by his friends. There is a lesson here. If we are to dwell on the outward appearance of things or situations, we can draw the same conclusions as Job’s friends. . .God is judging us for some wrongdoing or sin. Remember the Lord protected Job’s life and would not allow Satan to kill him. In this psalm, David likewise expresses confidence in the Lord’s protection.
The Psalmist David’s highest desire is to live in the house of the Lord all his life. He wants to live in the presence of the Lord for safety and security. I find it interesting he mentions being placed by God on a high rock. In the desert wanderings of the Israelites, there was frequent mention of a rock. It was a source of life giving water and was a shadow, a type of Christ figure in the Old Testament. “All of [our ancestors] drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them and that rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:4) O that we might remember that we are living in the presence of God right now.
In the second half of this psalm, the focus shifts to a lament. I find it humbling that the Lord asks us to “Come and talk with him!” My next thought is, “What should we talk about?” David may help us out in answering my question with the last part of the psalm
with these words, “Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path.” There are those around us today who attack Christian belief as hate speech. Christianity is mocked on university campuses. Faith in Jesus Christ is not politically correct. The Church is under persecution worldwide. The situation for Christians and others in Afghanistan is deadly. These are tough days everywhere. We need to know how to live wisely and pray with fervor.
The psalmist expresses confidence in the Lord’s goodness in his day and we can do the same in ours. He concludes with wonderful words for us and I think this is what the Lord has to say in our conversation, “Wait patiently for Me. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for Me. If I take care of the birds of the air, I’ll certainly care for you.”
Music: “The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation” Stonebrier Community Church Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPhoWvIyX-Q (The classic setting.)
Prayer: Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee; all things are passing; our God never changeth; patient endurance attaineth to all things; who God possesseth in nothing is wanting; alone God sufficeth. ―St. Teresa of Avila from The Little Book of Prayers, p.110