Wait on the Lord - Psalm 27

Summer in the Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:36
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Introduction: We live in a world of uncertainty. Each day we are faced with news of more and more uncertainty in our culture in our government, and in some of our families and other areas of our lives. We all deal with these things in different ways. When we are uncertain or scared we need to understand that God has spoken directly to that situation already. It's not that He has shown us what is going to happen ahead of time but He has given us a surety of how we can walk through those situations. Today we are going to be in Psalm 27 where David expresses his confidence in God but also approaches God for help and rest in his time of trouble. Today as we look at this Psalm, I want you to find comfort and confidence in who the Lord is and who you are in Christ Jesus. Let's read together:
Psalm 27 ESV
Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked 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 gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
This Psalm shares some similarities with the two on either side of it, however they are more subdued in their language. David really gets after it with the level of intensity here. He obviously has enemies threatening him. It's written that this was possible a big of a call to battle or something that might be written about before going to battle. The first point of note for you to see is that before anything else, David praises the Lord. He goes straight into worship and not into petitioning God for anything. That part does come eventually, of course, but his main thing here is to praise God. David's thrust is always that he has a confidence and trust in God even in a dark circumstance that may be surrounding him.

I. David's Praise (v.1-3)

God being David's light - represents God's guiding presence in David's life. Note the "my". This is personal. David looks to God for guidance.
This is consistent with what we know of David in his other writings. Psalm 119 in particular points to this in verse one hundred and five.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God’s Word was a lamp to his feet and a light for his path.
Explain the lamp back then... enough light to see your next step, not a flood light
Stay in the light.
Light is a natural illustration for things that are positive, true, good, joyful, and for vitality. In this passage we see the picture of the light, the Lord as the answer to fear and to forces of evil that come against the psalmist. Too often we buzz by these passages in reading and fail to truly understand that words like stronghold, refuge, etc, are reminders that the fear and forces coming against us may threaten our very lives.
Particularly in verse 3 we can understand a little more when we look at the desperate situation David found himself in back in 1 Samuel 23:26-28
1 Samuel 23:26–28 ESV
Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape.
The word ma'oz emphasizes God's stable protection for those who call on Him. Note this key. It's not for everyone but for those who call on Him. God's people have a special and stable support because of belonging to the family of God in Christ Jesus. This is not true of everyone but of those who have believed the Gospel and repented of their sins, placing all faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
V. 3 - encamp against me: David had experience with having a siege laid against him.
The picture is the enemies surrounding him and oppressing him. They’re just waiting for him to fail and looking for a way to ensnare him.
Notice that David portrays his enemies as wild animals who devour and oppress him. They have an insatiable appetite to devour the Lord's anointed. They hunger and thirst for his blood. This is a picture of how desperate his enemies are to destroy him. And in the face of this potential terror, David is comfortable in the stable and assured care of His Lord. What a picture of the truth we heard in Psalm 23 when the Lord sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies.
Psalm 23:5 ESV
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

II. David's Petitions (4-14)

After David expounds his confidence and faith in God, he then petitions him for help.

A. The Lord's house (v.4-6)

Sanctuary - What we see in verse 6 is not a desire to be a priest but a "one thing" sort of purpose to David's life. His singleness of purpose is to enjoy the constant and continual presence of God. David knew and we can know this wonderful truth. That this singleness of purpose in life is the best and only satisfying answer to:

Fears that distract us...

Our fears tend to creep in and steal our focus. We pay attention to what we are scared of instead of the one who is the answer to those fears.
Within this purpose of David's to experience and enjoy the presence of God we find priorities that play themselves out here.
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 21:6 ESV
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

To behold and inquire

- This is a preoccupation with God's Person and His will. This, Derek Kidner wrote is, "the essence of worship; indeed of discipleship." David elaborates on it in some of the following verses.
The essence of worship and discipleship is to be preoccupied with God’s person and His will. Are you preoccupied with God’s person and His will? Do you spend time thinking about God and who He is? What are his characteristics? What do we know of His will from the Word?
When I am preoccupied with something, I can’t keep it off of my mind. But the things I find myself getting preoccupied with are the things that I have spent a lot of time looking at and thinking of. If you want to breed a preoccupation with the Lord in your life, you need to give more of your time to studying Him and His Word. The more time you spend, the greater your desire to spend more time with Him. God’s Word is a deep well and you won’t hit the bottom.
I want to get really practical right now and ask you a question.
Where would you rather be than in God’s presence?
Now most of you just in your head, said, “nowhere.” I want to challenge you on that a little bit. This may make some of you angry and that’s okay. But here’s the question: If you want nothing more than to be in God’s presence worshipping Him and enjoying Him, then why are you so casual with missing worship with your church family on the Lord’s Day. This is serious. Being a part of a church is not like being in a community club. This isn’t the Lion’s club or the Kiwanas. When we gather the Spirit of Christ is with us and we gather to worship Him and serve Him. But a lot of times people are busy with something that is more important to them. Excuses I hear for not coming to worship:
I was with family. Okay, bring your family to church. Or maybe, tell them you’re going to hang with them after because it will show them how important your obedience to worshipping God the way He has commanded is to you.
I was on the river. It will be there after. If the river is gone after church we have bigger problems than you not getting launched before the ramp is full.
I had a late night. First of all, you may have been doing something you know full well you should not be. Secondly, you would get up and go to work if you had to. What is more important to you?
I watched online. It’s not the same. We are called to gather and worship. We gather on the Lord’s Day primarily. Now, I understand that there are those who are providentially hindered from coming. But I know and you know that the number of people who can’t come because of health or some other reason out of their control is very small.
The reason we are so casual about attending church and doing the very things our Lord wants us to do is because enjoying His presence is not as important as those other things. Some of us need to repent. Some of you need to repent of your family being more important to you than God. We make these things into idols when we put them in the place of prominence in our lives that God should have. Stop it. Repent.
I can hear people now saying, Pastor that’s kind of extreme. Friend, my Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. He gave His very life and took my sin upon Himself on the cross. It’s time we get serious about following Him and enjoying His presence.
And here’s the kicker: It is the best thing for us. It’s better for us and it’s better for our families if we make glorifying and enjoying Jesus our one singleness of purpose in this life.
This isn’t about me wanting more people in the seats. This is about me wanting you to enjoy JESUS more. I want desperately for all of you to have vibrant walks with the Lord and know the wonder of walking with Him before all others. There is nothing like it. So please hear my pastor’s heart here.
David wants to remain in God's presence because God is where the joy is. It's where David finds joy. He finds his joy not in being king, or women, or worldly goods but in God. Everything he does, is a desire to get more of that.
A head that is lifted up as in verse 6 denotes confidence and pride. He would Be confident in the presence of his Lord.
Spending time with the Lord breeds confidence in His care.
David saw the Lord as a haven of safety and a place he wanted to hide and stay.

B. The Lord's haven (v.7-10)

In verses 7-9 the word face is key and appears three times. To seek God’s face is to petition Him. Most often this would be in the context of worship. This involves complete devotion to the Lord in the same sense as turning towards the Lord.
Finally, David waited on the help that he was petitioning the Lord for.

C. The Lord's help (v.11-14)

Psalm 27:11–14 ESV
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Teach me.
Lead me on a level path.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries...
Wait on the LORD - v. 14 carries this eager hope and expectation of deliverance. Do we expect the deliverance of the Lord. Sure, it may not come in the way we imagine it. But do we expect that He will be glorified, His will be done, and that we will experience the joy of being in His presence?
While David waited on the Lord he was focused on enjoying God’s presence and longing for more. While he did this, he asked for help and then waited for the Lord to move. He was active while waiting for the Lord. He wasn’t just sitting but was being obedient and was worshipping.
Be strong in your waiting and let your heart take courage. We can courageously stand in uncertain times because we have a living Savior who is interceding on our behalf.
Conclusion and Call for Decision:
The world feels so uncertain right now. But Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s firm and immovable. Will we run to Him as our refuge and look to Him as the light for our path? That is the decision before you today.
If you don’t know Jesus personally, I want you to today.
Gospel Here
If during this message you realized that you have raised something else up in your life and made it more primary than seeking God’s presence, repent and turn away from that today. Now is the time for turning away from sin and turning toward God. Seek His face.
If you’re in a spot and you’re questioning some of this or you’re unsure, I would love to talk with you or have you talk to another believer in Christ because the scripture tells us that no one seeks God on their own but He initiates it. If you’re thinking about God then he’s working on you. Notice in verse 8, even in our passage today, God is telling us to seek His face. How will you respond today?
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