The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
In this passage we are introduced to a psalmist waiting. Is this psalm also a pep talk for himself? For his men? Is it internal or external dialogue?
We don’t really know the occasion of the psalm, but we do know that it offers encouragement to the reader in distress and hardship. Matthew Henry’s Commentary references the encouragement to Hope in Him that others receive from the psalm, and implores the reader to “let our hearts be thus affected in singing the psalm.”
Encouragement in the waiting. I like that. I need that.
Are you in a season of waiting? What are you waiting for? Sometimes we know and sometimes we do not. Sometimes we can only see the season of waiting in hind sight. We look back and say, “Oh we were waiting! God was doing His thing and here we are.” At other times, we feel stuck in the waiting process. We can literally feel the waiting pressing in. We are acutely aware of something coming and God’s call to wait on Him, to sit with Him for this moment, to be still and wait.
Let’s look back at the psalm for understanding –
In verse 8, the dialogue between the psalmist and God is gorgeous!
God asks us to seek Him, we respond with the heart cry, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
There is an assurance in that dialogue. We can return to it over and over again.
Verse 9 has the psalmist asking “cast me not off!” This is a prayer for protection in the waiting. Protection from adversaries, from life’s troubles, from loneliness and anxiety. We also can pray for protection.
In verse 10, the author focuses on the promises of God –
“O God of my salvation… (others have forsaken me)… the Lord will take me in.”
When have you felt forsaken by others? When have you felt misunderstood? When have you struggled with where you were placed for a certain time? God hears your heart and understands. God takes us in through the waters of Baptism and never lets go. He hears us. He never forsakes us.
In verse 13, the author proclaims, “I will look on the Lord in the land of the living…” Essentially, the psalmist tells us, no matter how this shakes out, we have hope, we can trust, we stand on the solid rock of Eternity.
And finally, verse 14. Wait for the Lord.
I firmly believe that God finds so much value in the waiting. That is so often where His work is done, in the deep places of our hearts. It takes courage, girls, but we have it in abundance from a resurrection God.
Remember the promise of our Heart verse:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, find mercy and help.
Help! We have help!
Keep approaching the throne, whether your season is challenging or ravishing, or wonderfully abundant, or lean and tight. God is in the waiting, He is God of the waiting. He invites us to rest in the waiting.
What is the hardest part for you about waiting?
What comes to mind when you picture God sitting on His throne of grace?
What would you like to ask God for help with today?