7 Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—
have mercy on me and answer me!
8 Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.
Lord, I do seek your face!
9 Please don’t hide it from me!
Don’t push your servant aside angrily—
you have been my help!
God who saves me,
don’t neglect me!
Don’t leave me all alone!
10 Even if my father and mother left me all alone,
the Lord would take me in.
11 Lord, teach me your way;
because of my opponents, lead me on a good path.
12 Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies,
because false witnesses and violent accusers
have taken their stand against me.
13 But I have sure faith
that I will experience the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living!
14 Hope in the Lord!
Be strong! Let your heart take courage!
Hope in the Lord!
I love Psalm 27 because of all of the ways the psalmist offers a conversation with God that speaks about the honesty of their relationship. First, the psalmist gives more than just a statement of adoration. This writing is also more than just a cry from a person in pain or from one with needs. It is more than just a statement of personal want or even one’s desire. It’s a psalm that shows the enduring, “get real” relationship between a person and God.
Perhaps Psalm 27 shows just how humans really talk to those closest to ourselves. Often we complain, express our needs and wants, or even plead in anger or frustration with those who are closest to us. Through this psalm we may even hear that child-like rant that says, (Mom or Dad,) “Listen to me!” It is as if we can just hear: our partner, or parent or child saying, “Listen to me, because I need you!”
But for as much as the writer pleads for God’s attention and help, the psalmist also gives voice to the wonders of God’s ways. So secondly, the author knows of the wonders and love of God to sustain us. While others may leave, “the Lord will take me in.” Therefore, the psalmist also recognizes God’s goodness and power. The psalmist also knows to be in awe: “Teach me your way…. Lead me on the good path.” This psalm is as much an admission of the wonders of God, as it is a cry for help. It is a get-real, down to earth way to be. But isn’t this really how our God wants us to be? Doesn’t God want to hear our real and honest truth about our needs, wants and fears, as well as our praise? There is no irreverence to God when we speak the truth, even when it is hard to say! On the contrary, perhaps it is the most respectful way to be with our Lord. When we “get real” about our hurts, now God can really be our source of hope and strength.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Like the author of Psalm 27, how do you “get-real” with God about your truest thoughts, needs and desires? You can do this even with reverence for the goodness that is God.
The psalmist ends this writing by giving their testimony. “I will experience the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Hope is in the Lord! Be strong!” What are your simple words of testimony of the goodness of God?
Prayer: Gracious God, in your goodness, I know your enduring love for me. Lord help me not to turn away when I hurt. Help me to share my wants and needs in honest and loving ways to you. You are my hope and strength. Only you hold my hope and faith. Amen.