Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lent 2c - Psalm 27

If you ask me this psalm asks too much. No Fear might work as a bumper sticker for a pick up truck but I’m afraid I would experience more than a little fear if evildoers sat down to dine on me. And while the adversaries and foes stumble and fall in verse two they are back on their feet breathing violence in verse twelve. Even the Lord’s face is hidden and to the psalmist cast off and forsaken the light of salvation should seem dim and distant. Which is why the psalm needs to begin where it ends, waiting. Wait for the Lord; be strong for the Lord is your light and salvation. Wait for the Lord and let your heart take courage for the Lord is the stronghold of your life. So is that it? We just grit our teeth and bear whatever life throws at us or take a deep breath and go to our happy place when all around is chaos? No. Confident waiting hope does not depend on our own strength or ability to endure. It depends fully on the One who has prepared a place for us and has himself waited through all this psalm asked him to endure. Surrounded by enemies, forsaken by family and friends, accused falsely by witnesses breathing violence he was forsaken even by God. But for the joy set before him Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice as his head crowned with thorns was lifted up above the enemies he was dying to forgive. And dying our death he became our life so that our waiting would not be in vain. No Fear? Maybe so.


  1. This has long been my favorite psalm. I have found it comforting through difficult times, especially those requiring real patience. It became especially meaningful to me during years following divorce, in the midst of personal conflict among former spouses and sometimes former friends, and while waiting for the companion I believed God had for me. For me the key to this psalm, at least to the closing verse, is similar in emphasis to Jeremiah 29:11. It's about God's faithfulness, God's plans; in all things, in spite of whatever happened in the past, we look to the future with - as you said - a confident hope.

  2. Yes. Of all the scriptures the psalms speak to where we live, our joys and our sorrows. I've found great comfort as well and maybe it goes to show that despite being separated by a thousand or more years there is "nothing new under the sun" to quote another of my favorite books of the Bible.