In the 27th Psalm we have one of the most eloquent expressions of the central ideal of biblical faith – trust in the Lord. David exhorts us to come to the same conclusion that he has; despite current challenges and threats, the Lord can be trusted in full. Two stanzas of his expression of trust open the psalm.
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 evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. (vv 1-3)
Danger is all about and the psalmist has every reason to fear but he will not allow himself to do so. Fear will not overwhelm his confidence in the protective wing of the Lord nor will it challenge his confidence. Do we practice the same steadfast confidence in our current world? We are bombarded constantly with bad news and dire predictions of calamity. Without faith in the preservation of the Lord that he has exhibited throughout history, men and women succumb easily to the short view, seeing their imminent destruction and possibly their final breath. Knowing that life in this plane is not all that there is, the Christian looks forward.
With such confidence, why does the psalmist pray for deliverance in the second half of the psalm? Confidence does not preclude our petition of God. The Bible teaches us the propriety of being in prayerful communion with God and to take all things to him. Asking for a deliverance and His preservation should not indicate a lack of confidence but rather, a knowledge that the Lord craves our presence with him in prayer. The concluding verses of the psalm summarize for us.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (vv 13-14)