Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Psalm 27 1
1 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 evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: 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 seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

clip_image136Background 2

We do not know when David wrote Psalm 27. Some Christians believe that he wrote it in 2 parts. He wrote verses 1 – 6 when life was good. God was answering all his prayers. Perhaps it was after he had killed Goliath. (See Psalm 27:2). He wrote verses 7-12 when life was difficult He thought that God was hiding from him. Perhaps it was when Saul was fighting him. (See Psalm 27:12). He wrote verses 13-14 when he put the 2 parts together. Other Christians believe that David wrote it all at the same time. In the past God had been good to him. Why was God not good to him now? He would still believe in God and wait for his help. In Psalm 27 we learn that for David life had its ups and downs. The ups were the good times. The downs were the difficult times. This happens to us also. When life is difficult we must remember the good times. When we think that God has forgotten us, we must remember the times when he did not forget us. We must be like David in Psalm 27:14. We must wait for the Lord. One day he will give us help. If we believe this, it will make us strong.

Bible Truths 3

Verses 1 – 3: “The Lord is my light” means many things. One is that he shows us what to do in life. “The LORD is my hiding place” means that when trouble comes the LORD will be with us in it. He will give us help to live through it, he will not leave us by ourselves. Verse 2 says that David thought that bad men (like animals) wanted to eat him. But these bad men fell down and they did not hurt David. Perhaps David remembered Goliath. Goliath said that he would feed David’s body to the wild animals and birds. But David killed Goliath. David believed that because God gave him help in the past he will in the future. The same is true for us. Every time God gives us help we are more sure that he will give us help in the future.

Verses 4 – 6: Here are 4 words for where the LORD lives: house, palace, hiding place and tent. They are not 4 different places. They all describe where God is. For David it was either the tent with the ark in it, or heaven. The ark was where the Jews kept special things that made them think of God. Heaven is where God lives. If we are Christians then God lives in us. We are the house of God.

Verses 7 – 9: Here the psalm changes. In verses 1-6 life was good for David. Now life is difficult. David thinks that God has forgotten him. David prays to God, “Answer me”. He thinks that he hears a voice inside him that says, “Look for my face”. So David continues to pray. He says, “You gave me help in the past ~ do not forget me now”.

Verses 10 – 12: Verse 10 tells us that David is sure that God will answer him one day. Even if his parents forget him, God will never forget him. In verses 11-12 David tells us that he has many enemies that want to hurt him. Some, as Cush in Psalm 7, tell lies about him. Lies are words that are not true. So David prays for a straight path. This means one that is safe.

Verses 13 – 14: This starts with something very strange. Verse 13 has no beginning. In Hebrew it is ” . . . . . if I had not believed to see the goodness the LORD is in the land of the living”. This is not a mistake, as some people think. It means that everyone that reads the psalm can put their own words in. What would happen to you if you did not believe in the Lord? But because you do believe in the Lord you are ready to wait for his answers. You may wait a long time, but be brave and strong. One day, God will answer you, if you believe in him.

Items for Discussion

  • How was your confidence built with respect to your faith in God?
  • While miracles are hard to forget, most of us do not see them every day. So how do you notice God in your everyday life?
  • If David was confident in God’s protection, why do you think he was equally so fearful of his enemies?
  • David used his psalms to remember his feelings toward God – what do you do or use to remember yours?
  • How can adults help youth gain confidence that God is going to protect them?

 

Luke 13:31-35
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Background 4

Luke is first mentioned in the letters of the Apostle Paul as the latter’s “coworker” and as the “beloved physician.” The former designation is the more significant one, for it identifies him as one of a professional cadre of itinerant Christian “workers,” many of whom were teachers and preachers. His medical skills, like Paul’s tent making, may have contributed to his livelihood; but his principal occupation was the advancement of the Christian mission.

Luke is credited with being the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He excludes himself from those who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s ministry. His participation in the Pauline mission, however, is indicated by the use of the first person in the “we” sections of Acts. They reveal that Luke shared in instructing persons in the Christian message and possibly in performing miraculous healings.

The “we” sections are analogous in style to travel reports found elsewhere in writings of the Greco-Roman period. They place the author with Paul during his initial mission into Greece—i.e., as far as Philippi, in Macedonia. It is there that Luke later rejoins Paul and accompanies him on his final journey to Jerusalem. After Paul’s arrest in that city and during his extended detention in nearby Caesarea, Luke may have spent considerable time in Palestine working with the apostle as the occasion allowed and gathering materials for his future two-volume literary work, the Gospel and the Acts. In any case, two years later he appears with Paul on his prison voyage from Caesarea to Rome and again, according to the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy 4:11, at the time of the apostle’s martyrdom in the imperial city.

Biblical Truths 5

Verse 31 These Pharisees may have acted as sincere friends. But they probably tried to move Jesus out of Galilee for their own reasons. They had more power to change public opinion in Judea. Therefore, they were willing to warn Jesus about Herod, a person whom they hated. Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee and Perea. Perhaps he was still anxious because he had agreed to John the Baptist’s death. He did not want to be responsible for another murder. Jesus was popular. So, Herod may have been worried about political activity that would disturb the peace. Therefore, he thought that he should warn Jesus. This would make him leave that region.

Verse 32 The Jews believed that they could not trust a fox. It was an animal that was always destroying things. Foxes were of little worth. Jesus compared Herod to this animal. Jesus continued his work. He forced out demons and healed people. But soon he would finish this work.

Verse 33 He ‘must’ go to Jerusalem but not because of Herod’s wish. God planned that Jesus would go there. It would be when God wanted. It would not be when Herod wanted. Jerusalem was a ‘holy’ city because the Temple was there. But they had often killed prophets there. Jesus was a prophet too.

Verse 34 ‘I often’ shows that Jesus went to Jerusalem more times than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record. Jesus said that the people of Jerusalem had refused to obey God’s servants. They even killed them.

Verse 35 Jews refused to obey God. So, God stopped protecting their city. As in the time of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:4), the Jews believed that their city would always be safe. The Temple was there. So, they thought that an enemy would never defeat Jerusalem. But Jesus’ words came true. In AD 70, the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem.

Jesus used words from Psalm 118:26. People greeted one another with these words when they came to Jerusalem. People greeted Jesus with these words on the Sunday before the first Easter (Luke 19:38). Here Jesus also refers to when he will return to earth. On that day people will have to recognise him as Messiah.

Items for Discussion

  • The Pharisees are using an old technique, fear, to get Jesus out of their area. How is fear used in our modern society today?
  • Why would a fox be used as an example for Herod?
  • Who are the fox’s of today?
  • How did the Israelites lose the protection of God over their city?
  • Read verse 35: is Jesus being too harsh or unreasonable with the Pharisees?
  • What is the sacrifice that a person makes when they rely on God for their protection?

Discussion Challenge

  • How can a simple church help its community to recognize the risk of losing God’s protection?
Share