Psalms 1 - 50by Mike Raiter
My daughter's uncle asked her one time what she looked for in a husband. Pippa replied: ″A man who loves God more than he loves me.″ What a wonderful answer! The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind (Matthew 22:37-38), and the first mark of genuine faith is a deep love of the Lord. In Psalm 27, David beautifully expresses his love for God.
Psalm 27 continues, and develops, some of the themes we saw in Psalms 25 and 26. David longs to know God's ways so he can please Him in all he does (25:4-5), and he rejoices in being in the house of God (26:8).
The psalm opens with David expressing his confidence in God's protection (27:1-3). Using military metaphors (″the stronghold of my life″), he declares that God will protect him, both on the battlefield and throughout his life.
At the centre of Israel's life was the tabernacle and later, the temple where the Lord made His home. David longs to live with his God forever. Paul expresses the same passion for his Saviour when he writes: ″I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord″ (Philippians 3:8). This leads David to spontaneous praise: ″I will sing and make music to the Lord″ (Psalm 27:6).
This has been the experience of many believers throughout history. Once we understand the depth of God's love for us, we naturally sing. We don't sing just because God commands it (e.g. Psalm 9:11), but also because the wonders of God's salvation, protection, presence, and beauty demand more than sermons and studies. That is why, at the heart of our Bible, is the church's songbook.
Psalm 27 is the song of a man whose heart has been captured by God, whose heart calls out to God: ″Seek his face″ (v. 8). What the heart desires, the will pursues. So David responds: ″Your face, Lord, I will seek″ (v. 8). David longs for this deep encounter with God, and knows he will find it: God will not reject him (vv. 9-10). However, he knows that he needs to wait until that day when he-and we-fully behold the face of God (vv. 13-14).
Why do Christians sing? What part do the Psalms play in worship in your church?
God has promised: ″Never will I leave you″ (Hebrews 13:5). Is it still appropriate for Christians to ask of the Lord: ″Do not reject me or forsake me″ (Psalm 27:9)? Why or why not?