A David Psalm
1 Light, space, zest— that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.
2 When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.
3 When besieged,
I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I’m collected and cool.
4 I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.
5 That’s the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.
6 God holds me head and shoulders
above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems
that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
I’m making music to God.
7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
“Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
Don’t hide from me now!
9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.
11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.
13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
The author is identified as David. The circumstances are either when King Saul was chasing him in the desert or more likely when Absolam, his son turned against him.
The question is “whom shall I fear?” and it is asked and answered by David, “no one” because his confidence is in the Lord. This is an unequivocal answer, steadfast and unafraid- he has a lifetime of experience to back up this confidence.
I love praying this way- confident through experience in the Lord’s goodness and unfailing love. I can and do pray this prayer regularly!
The names of God shared in this Psalm are LORD, God, my saviour,and then salvation,light,stronghold, rock- experiential names from instances throughout his relationship with the Lord God of Israel. The relationship is one of STRENGTH- god is Redeemer and Rock.
There are thematic references, but nothing direct to the New Testament (see Psalm 27:10 and Matthew 10:32)
It is David’s strong voice of testimony we hear all though out this psalm. David’s voice lifted in praise, in song, and in certainty!
The language and confidence, the mood is exuberant- like a song of Joy along this journey of faith. David knows the Lord well and describes Him from his own experiences. As light and salvation, a stronghold, beautiful in His temple (tabernacle or tent, still)- David has come through some nasty situations and uses them as a springboard to praise. His past burdens and narrow escapes have become areas of strength. His enemies helped David get a clearer vision of the love and protection and provision of God in his life.
David’s present song comes from his previous fears and shaken faith- in his darkest hours, he saw the light of the Lord. When caught in a trap, he recognized the salvation offered by his savior, when camped upon a lonely plain only God was his stronghold. In the midst of slander,siege, war and attacks he knows he will prevail because the LORD is his beautiful safe place keeping him like a protected guest , hidden away from harm.
He ends this psalm with strong testimony of God’s goodness! The secret of this witness is in the heart of faith- the NIV translates the phrase in verse 3 as”my heart will not fear”.
God can help us conquer fear when we obey faithfully and learn to worship Him, walk with Him, and wait for Him. We can look back upon our lives, recognize that He is in the center of our darkest hours, augmenting our struggles with His strength and love. And, once we see the source of our overcoming the battle we can, along with David, sing His praises.
Look back, examine today’s difficulties, and look forward to tomorrow’s battles with a sense of victory- because with the LORD on our side we shall prevail! There is nothing the world or our adversaries can throw at us that can defeat us when we are resting in the strength of the LORD!