There are a number of ideas about David’s circumstances in Psalm 27, but no one is certain what actually was happening to him. But one thing is certain — he was tempted to despair. Notice all the different phrases he used to indicate the oppression he was under: fear (vv. 1, 3), dread (think “panicked terror,” v. 1), being devoured by adversaries and enemies (v. 2), a host preparing for war (v. 3) and then warring against him (v. 3), a day of trouble (v. 5), surrounded by enemies (v. 6), forsaken by family (v. 10), and false witnesses and violent men against him (v. 12).
Whatever was happening, it was bad news.
Yet the bad news was not ultimate. Though aware of the battle and difficulty around him, David demonstrated hope throughout this psalm. What was his confidence? He rested in the character of God.
When I teach people how to have a devotional time, one of the things I tell them to always watch for us the character of God: “what does this passage reveal about the nature of God?”
And this Psalm is filled with attributes of God’s character. And it was because he meditated on that character that David found hope and encouragement, despite the oppression of his troubles.
- God is his light (v. 1)
- God is his salvation (v. 1)
- God is the defender of his life (v. 1)
- God is worthy of worship (vv. 4-5)
- God invites him into His presence and fellowship (vv. 4, 8)
- God’s beauty and worthiness can be perceived and enjoyed (v. 4)
- God is his protector (v. 5)
- God is victorious over all his enemies (v. 6)
- God hears when he calls to Him (v. 7)
- God is angry, but His anger is averted by those who love and are in fellowship with Him (v. 9)
- God, the Savior, does not abandon His people (v. 9)
- God is dependable even when fathers and mothers are not (v. 10)
- God is his teacher (v. 11)
- God can protect him from the accusations and violence of his enemies (v. 12)
- God is good (v. 13)
Because these things are true about God, we can conclude along with David that when we are experiencing trouble, it is wise and good to —
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD. (v. 14)