Thursday, February 9, 2017

Encouragement (Part 1): Week 4, Day 3

Today we are going to APPLY Psalm 27 to our lives.  Before we do that, take the time to read through the Psalm again, absorbing the words of the Scripture.

In verses 1-3, David describes the Lord in three ways:
  1. my light
  2. my salvation
  3. the defense of my life
David is facing evil doers, adversaries, enemies, host camps, and war as he is writing this Psalm.  He had every reason to write a Psalm of being worried and afraid.  But instead of letting his fear overtake him, David put is faith and trust in the Lord - his light, his salvation, his defense.  In verse 3, David says that, "in spite of this" - in spite of the evil doers, in spite of the adversaries, in spite of the enemies, in spite of the host camps, and in spite of the war, David is putting his confidence in the Lord.  We need to be like David and put all of our faith and trust in the Lord God.  No matter what is around us, the Lord is our light, our salvation, and our defense.

In verses 4-6, David asks from God to dwell in His house and to meditate in His temple forever.  Forever is a time phrase (green clock).  Because of the reference to "secret place" in verse 5, I do not think that David was talking about a literal place.  I think that David was referring to an internal, safe place, that he will always have, forever.  Think about what the Scriptures says in 1 Corinthians 6:19.  "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you."  If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit is always inside of you, with you wherever you go.  When our bodies die on this earth, our souls will go to heaven where we will be with God forever.  David understood that he not only had the Lord with him on earth, but that he would forever be able to be with the Lord, even after he died.  David experienced joy when he was in the tent.  He offered God praise and sacrifice.

We can have these same experiences with God within ourselves.  I hope these studies on encouragement have shown you the joy that God wants us to experience.  He is always with us, no matter what is happening around us.  No matter what kind of enemies or evil doers are at our doors, we can offer praise to God.

The Lord commands David to seek His face, and  David commits to do this.  We looked at the passage in Joshua about meditating on the Bible day and night.  We are commanded over and over again in Scripture to always seek the Lord.  We do this by studying our Bibles, by praying, by living our lives 100% of the time in tune with God.

Look at verse 10.  This verse literally means, "If my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up."  God's message does not change through out Scripture. In Joshua we are told that God will never leave us or forsake us. In Psalm 27 we are told that even if those who were once closest to us abandon us, God will still be with us.

David asks God for three specific things in verses 11 and 12:
  1. teach me Your way
  2. lead me in a level path
  3. keep me safe from my adversaries
How can we learn the ways of the Lord? By studying His Scriptures.  I have said it before, and I'll say it over and over again. I truly believe that the Lord has given us 66 books that He wants us to know, understand, and do.  We can learn the Lord's ways by studying the road map that He wrote for us in the Bible.  He has given us everything we need, we just have to be proactive in reading and studying it.  Thank you, sisters, for sticking with this Bible study.  Not for my sake!  I do not want you to study the Scriptures for me.  I want you to study the Scriptures for you.  I want you to grow in the Lord, to meditate on His Word, and to live your lives the way God intended us to live - as holy people, set apart to glorify Him

David wanted God to lead him in a level path.  According to Psalm 5:8, God's level path is righteousness.  Doing the right thing.  Being righteous before God.  This is something that we should strive for every day.  

David was facing evil doers, adversaries, enemies, host camps, and war as he was writing this Psalm.  It would have been so easy for David to despair, but his faith in God kept him from that.  David said that he, "would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord."  David knew what his eternal future held.  And because of that, he encourages us to wait for the Lord, be strong, and be courageous.

Through out this Psalm, David is constantly seeking his refuge in God, and he is reminded that God is always with him.  No matter what we are facing in the world, God is always our refuge.  We face evil everywhere we go.  We have adversaries and enemies everywhere we go.  David reminds us that we can take refuge in God.

David also reminds us the importance of staying in the Word of God. We never need to neglect the importance of God's Word and learning His ways. God's way is that of righteousness.  If we continue to seek Him, we will continue to learn the way of righteousness.  As we learn the way of righteousness, we will live that out in our lives.  The Scriptures say over and over again that people will be known by their fruit.  If you study the ways of righteousness and live that out daily, you will be known by good fruits.  (It is so much better to be known by good fruits than by bad fruits!)

Finally, my sisters, wait on the Lord! Be strong and courageous and wait on the Lord.  David said it twice - that means that it is doubly important.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says, " 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are Your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.' "  God's ways are so much better than ours.  Let us trust in Him, study His Word, and wait on His ways.

To read the previous posts on Encouragement, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1, Day 2

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