- this morning, we're going to study Psalm 27
- to try to picture a little bit of what it would have been
like for the children of Israel to use these songs as
part of their worship, I'd like us to read the Psalm in
- of course, in this day and age, that immediately brings
up the problem of versions--so I've made copies of Psalm
27 from the NASB.
- I'd like to divide you into two groups:
Group one - the statement in verse 1
Group two - the questions in verse 1
Group one - verses 2-6
Group two - verses 7-10
Group one - verses 11-13
Unison - verse 14
("rehearse" a couple of times--switching the group's
- the theme of Psalm 27 perhaps can best be phrased in the
form of a question: Do you respond to "enemies" with fear
- INPUT - let me ask you to look over Psalm 27 again, and
let's as many examples as we can of words or phrases that
talk about David's enemies, troubles, fears. (varied
- So Psalm 27, as well as several other Psalms, deal with the
issue of "enemies."
- Remember, as we study the Scripture, we're seeking to
understand what the passage would have meant to the
original hearers -- and then to take that rightly
understood message of the verses and apply them to where
we are today.
- cone diagram
- Bible - original audience - contemporary audience
- the "challenge" with this particular kind of Scripture
(that has the warfare/enemy imagery) is that the original
audience was in a much better position to "automatically
apply" the message of the verses than you and I are in
- I say that for two reasons:
1) They were used to constant war. Historically, Israel
was constantly at war (as was much of the ancient
world.) Many of the Jews who would sing this song as
part of the Sabbath would had been men who had been in
- that’s not as true for you and I today.
- the images that this Psalm would have naturally
called up in their minds are ones we're to going
to have to work harder at picturing.
2) Their "enemies" were more obvious. Life in the
ancient world was very unsafe. Countries were
regularly attacking each other. It was easier to
define your enemies.
- Traveling from place to place was very dangerous--
- the idea of an enemy hiding in a rocky place
and ambushing you was much more prevalent then.
- when an OT Jew heard the word "enemy," it
wouldn't have taken him/her long to put some
"faces" next to that concept.
- that may not be as true for you and I.
- now please don't get me wrong.
- you and I are facing enemies every bit as much as any OT
Jew--and some of them are exactly the same as the ones
David talked about.
- However--some of our enemies may not be as
- that means, in order for a passage like Psalm 27 to
come alive in a way that will help us change and
grow-we're going to have to work at thinking about
ways the verses apply to us today.
- we've got a chart on the board that is intended to help us
think about this matter of "enemies" today.
Enemies of the What will happen if I don't How does
believer today recognize this as a "battle- "fear"
zone where Christ promises/ factor
expects victory? in?
(teachers - go through and complete)
-- Some possible answers:
Enemies of the believer today:
1) the enemy within - i.e. our flesh, sinful habits, lusts,
- point - must recognize this as a battle.
2) Enemy of our world system - I John 2:13-15
3) Our adversary, the devil - I Peter 5:8
4) "personal enemies" - i.e. people who do not like the
fact that you are a believer, or for whatever reason
seem to take special delight in giving you a hard
time or making your life miserable.
What will happen if I don't recognize this as a "battle zone"
where Christ promises/expects victory?
1) (for the enemy within) - will be lackadaisical about
growth, will lack caution concerning temptations
2) (for the enemy of our world system) - might love the
world, fail to see the dangers of philosophies of
education, economics, etc.
- may be a "friend of the world" instead of a
"friend with God."
3) (for our adversary, the devil) - may fail to recognize
the existence of spiritual warfare (properly defined)
- lackadaisical about growth.
4) (personal enemies) - return evil for evil, bitter,
depressed, pity party
How does fear factor into this?
1) (for the enemy within) - may be convinced that
growth/change is impossible--therefore afraid to try.
- i.e. - "I'm not going to talk to anyone about this
problem--I've been failing in this area too long--
there's no hope."
2) (for the enemy of our world system) - afraid to be
different than the world, afraid to miss out on the
pleasures of the world, afraid the world has won and
the best we can do is hang on and go down in a blaze
3) (for our adversary the devil) - ascribing
powers/attributes to Satan that he doesn't possess,
seeing Satan under every rock, giving up on trying to
4) (for personal enemies) - fearful and worried about what
they might do next, Prov. 2(;25 - the fear of man
brings a snare.
- now, the point that we're trying to make so far is that you
and I do face enemies today.
- and it's very possible that fear will prevent us from
doing/being what God desires.
- the question is - Do you respond to "enemies" with
confidence or fear?
- Psalm 27 is written to help us develop biblical confidence
and courage so that we can stand up and have victory
over any enemy we face.
- this passage tells us how:
I. The Psalmist's Confidence in God's Provision - 27:1-6
- these verses are "dripping" with spiritual confidence
A. It quieted his fears
- As we said earlier, David asked two questions in
- INPUT - what were the expected answers? (no one)
- think about that for a minute - here's a man who
could say--I'm not afraid of anyone, or any
situation, any trial--because of my relationship
with the Lord.
- He also gives us some reasons in verse 1 for this
- INPUT - what are they?
1) the Lord is my light
2) the Lord is my salvation
3) the Lord is my defense
- INPUT - what was David trying to picture with his use
of the phrase -- the Lord is my "light" - (What does
that have to do with fear)
- cf. walking down the country road--neighbor's dog
- David is picturing a relationship with God that
gives him light...
- light to see his own shortcomings and sin
- light to have direction for the future
- light that made his way plain
- the word "strength" (NASB - defense) is the word for
"bulwark" or shield.
- The Lord was David's invisible shield as he sought to
- it doesn't matter what others say or do
- it doesn't matter how they may be able to hurt me--God
is my strength and shield, David is saying.
B. It conquered his foes - verse 2
- David could speak historically about the way(s) God
had protected him in the past.
- INPUT - can you think of some ways that God did this
in David's life? (Goliath, Saul)
- point is - David had a "track record" - he had put
the truth of God's word to the test in his own
experience as he sought to trust God and live for Him
- as a result--he could face the future with great
- this verse explains why some believers would have trouble
making the kind of statements found in verse 1
- it's because they don't have a track record--they've
never really placed themselves in a situation where
they aggressively went at "fighting" one of the
enemies we listed earlier--so when a new challenge or
a new "fight" comes along--there's no track record
- the thing is--you never know when that next test might
- cf. Ken Bixby's situation -- was able to handle
that trial with confidence (instead of fear and
worry) because he'd been living that way before
C. It gave calm in the midst of great problems - verse 3
- David turns around in verse 3 and looks to the
- he's able to make the same kind of comments
about the future because of the reason's we've
- I think a good question to ask at this point would
be -- Do you see yourself as a person who is
"fighting well" against the enemies we mentioned
- Do you have the kind of relationship with God
where you view Him as your light, salvation,
- Can you talk about how that's worked
- Can you think about/talk about the future
with the same kind of confidence?
- INPUT - what are some opposites of the kind of lifestyle
these verses are describing?
- now, when we get into verse 4--David gives us some
indication of what has sustained this kind of confidence:
D. It prompted fellowship, prayer, and praise - verse 4-6
- one writer said of this verse; "divided interests tend
to weaken a man's pursuits, while a single interest
tends to make a man proficient in what he is doing."
- David says that he is desiring and seeking after "one
thing"--to dwell in the house of the Lord, to behold
His beauty, and inquire in his temple.
- in other words--to cultivate a growing, intimate
relationship with His Lord.
- now obviously, there were other things David desired and
other things he sought after
- but in terms of priorities, if you watched David's
- his desire for a growing relationship with God
was so important that any other desires or any
other things he sought simply "paled" in
- Can I ask you this morning--is that verse convicting?
- now you know we're not talking about sitting around all
day praying and studying the Word so that you do
- maybe you've heard the statement, "some folks are so
heavenly minded they're no earthly good."
- that's not what we're talking about
- but let's face it—that’s not the ditch most of
us are in.
- it would be wise to think about -- what priorities/things
in my schedule might need to change in order for verse 4
to become more of a reality?
- David concludes this first section in verse 6.
- INPUT - what is he emphasizing here?
1) the victory that God is going to give him
2) the praise he is going to give God.
- the kind of relationship that David describes in verses 1-6
leads naturally to the kind of prayer we read about in
- this prayer is very honest, where David shares some of his
innermost fears/thoughts/ and emotions.
- it's also very personal, where David "let's us in on" the
nature of his conversation with God Himself.
II. The Psalmist's Cry To God
A. David's concerns
- INPUT - what do you see David concerned about in
1) that God will hear him - vs. 7-8
2) that God will not be angry with him - vs. 9
3) being forsaken by parents - v. 10
4) being delivered to his enemies - v. 12
5) false criticism - v. 12
B. David's confidence
- even though the list of problems/concerns we just
mentioned are substantial--David still had
confidence -- the verses give us some indication as
1) That God will bless his obedience
- verse 8 - because the Lord told him to pray--he
- even though the problems he faced were
intense--he knew God would bless his
- the steps of a good man are ordered by
the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)
2) The Lord will never forsake him. - verse 10
3) The Lord will guide him.
- today, through the Word.
4) Focused on God's goodness - verse 13
5) Waited on the Lord - verse 14