This morning I was reading Psalm 27, a passage I’ve seen many times before, and would be tempted to just, “Yeah, read that before, read that before, read that before…” my way through it. Instead, the Lord really opened my eyes to some neat things in there. Here’s a part of the passage for reference as we talk about it.
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,[a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
As I said, this is a familiar passage and it would be very easy to read it and file it under, “Do not fear, God is here” and go on my way. What He showed me today was how many different stages of a situation we can have faith in Him for.
Look back at the passage and notice when it says the psalmist wasn’t afraid. There are four different times. In verse 2, it’s when “evil men advance”. We’ll call this Stage 1. Then, in the second part of verse 2, it’s when “my enemies and foes attack me”. Stage 2. Do you see the other two stages coming up? An “army besiege me” and “war breaks out”. Stage 3 and 4. This psalmist is saying.”You know what? I’m not afraid at any stage of the game. When my enemies advance, attack, besiege, and even when war breaks out, I will not be afraid. My God is there for me. “
It just occurred to me as I am writing this, that this speaks to the situation where things seem to be getting worse, and it feels like God is not hearing our cries for help. I mean it’s a long walk from enemies advancing against you to full out war. And if you’ve been praying for God to help you from the beginning, yet you still find yourself with “war breaking out against” you, that could get depressing. This Psalm is there to give us hope. Want to know how it ends when war is breaking out?
Well, it’s kind of like a good hero movie. Here are verses 5 and 6.
For in the day of trouble
He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
How’s that for a good ending? Not only does He come in and keep us safe and hide us in His dwelling, but then He sets us high upon a rock in there so that our head is above our enemies who surround us.
When I visualize this, I imagine a picture where there is a huge army on one side of a wall, beseiging and such, but I am on the other side of that fortified wall, placed there by God. But God’s not letting me cower in the corner of His stronghold, no, He lifts me up high upon a rock and my head is higher than those other guys. I’m assuming I can see those enemies while I’m up out of their reach, because how else would I know my head is higher than theirs?
So, when those bad circumstances come up, or enemies, as I like to call them, we can have faith in God at all stages because we know His heart for us. He died to save us, and save us He does. He is there at the beginning and end stages of it all. Even when it seems the army is closing in, He picks us up and puts us behind that wall of His. Then He lifts us up above those circumstances and they get to see us high above them, safe and sound. And do you notice, He hides us, He sets us up on the rock. No rock climbing experience needed, He’s got it covered.
He’s amazing and pretty awesome in His love for us, even in the scary times.
What about you? Have you had this amazing experience in your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.