Find Safety in the Lord
Find Safety in the Lord
Text: Psalm 27
There’s a lot to be afraid of these days. Since the founding of our country, every generation of Americans has seen some sort of war. What war will my children’s generation be in?
Will Muslims attack our country again? As Muslims are less than a decade from becoming the majority religion of the world, the question of an attack seems not to be “If?” but “When?”
The coming election is a bit scary. I’m not sure anyone is confident about the direction of our country, regardless of which candidate wins. One begins to wonder if the economy will ever recover. Many around these parts wonder if good jobs will ever be available. Christians wonder if our persecution in America will go from jokes to restrictions to actual danger and peril.
Natural disasters have been unexpected and uncontrollable. From fires to floods to tornadoes to hurricanes, millions of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Incredibly, there was even a hurricane that hit New York and an earthquake in Wisconsin last year! What will the next one be? Where will the next one be? When will the next one be?
We could go on to write out a list of fears that would be bigger than a set of encyclopedias. How about the countless cases of cancer? The rise of new diseases and illnesses? The rise of other world superpowers?
As we daily quake and quiver over the countless things we are afraid of, we will go to any lengths to find safety. We install motion-activated lights and cameras along with high-tech, smart-phone controlled alarm systems in our homes. We have generators and stockpiles of water and non-perishable foods. We have escape route plans. We eat vitamins and get regular checkups and use hand sanitizer. We buy health insurance and life insurance and hurricane insurance and auto insurance. We pray for our military that protects us. We vote for leaders that will protect us. All this to find safety.
Yet it is a false-sense of security. The craftiest of criminals could break into our homes any time. A Category 5 hurricane would really do us in. We don’t know how to prevent cancer. And as much as we try, we can’t prevent every terrorist attack. We try so hard to find safety, but we never truly have it.
Just ask King David about that. He was the shepherd-warrior who killed lions and bears and even the giant, Goliath. But his adept fighting skills and national popularity didn’t help much when King Saul was chasing him all over the country for five years trying to kill him. Or when David finally did become king, a massive palace, a royal guard, and an entourage of close friends couldn’t stop his son Absalom from rebelling and temporarily deposing his father. David was on the run for his life again.
It was perhaps at this time later in his life that David wrote Psalm 27. He had been through so much in his life. Now he was on the run for his life for a second time. But in all of his troubles David realized the place he would find sure and certain safety, the same place we can all these years later—with the Lord.
First we can find Safety in God’s Power. “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? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”
One of the scariest things for a child is being in the dark. Children always like to have a nightlight. But even as adults, we don’t like stumbling around in the dark. We certainly don’t want to be outside in Florida with all the creepy crawlies in the dark. We would want a flashlight or a lantern.
God is our light. In a world of sinful darkness—with hearts of sinful darkness—Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He is the light that shatters the darkness. He is the light that brings life amid darkness and death. He is both our light and our salvation.
It is that power of the Lord to be our light and salvation that David describes like a mighty fortress or stronghold. So of whom should I be afraid? Of evil men that advance against us? Of enemies or foes? An army besieging us? Terrorists attacking? World War III breaking out? With the safety of God’s Power, as David says, “Even then will I be confident.”
Along with God’s mighty power, we can find Safety in God’s Presence. “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. 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. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shout of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”
As David wrote this perhaps when he was on the run as an outcast, what was the one thing David desired and missed the most? Not his palace or his riches or his comfortable bed with fine linens or the choice foods from around the world. David desired and missed worship more than anything. Being away from it for a while made him realize how treasured it.
So we can treasure this beautiful house of the Lord as a refuge from all the problems out there in the world. What a joy that we can come here to dwell upon the beauty of the Lord, who looks down upon us with glorious grace and mercy. What a joy to be safe in this dwelling where God lifts me up and elevates me as his own child and keeps me safe, like I’m up high on a rock. What a joy to sing and make music to the Lord for his boundless compassion and forgiveness.
Wouldn’t it be terrific if we didn’t only worship on Sundays or on Wednesdays once a month, but had worship every single day! What a joy it would be if we could dwell in this house of the Lord all the days of our life. Yes, here find Safety in God’s Presence.
And as we have safety in God’s presence, by God’s grace we find Safety in God’s Patience. “Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. 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. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
Many of the problems and troubles of David’s life came because of the sinful choices he made. Multiple wives and multiple children from those multiple lives led to a chaotic home life. The Lord even specifically told David that this would happen in part because of his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah.
Many times we can step back in life and recognize that many of problems come about because of our sinful choices. Ruined relationships, broken trust, horrific home life—these often are the consequences of sinful choices. Our guilty consciences know well all the awful things we have done.
Yet like David we can find safety from our guilt and from the eternal punishment that sins deserve. The Lord is kind and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, as David also writes. When we call out to him, he hears us. He is merciful and answers us. He does hide his face and turn away. He doesn’t send us away in anger over our sin. He doesn’t reject or forsake us.
That he did with his Son Jesus. Jesus was despised, rejected, and forsaken at the cross. The Father turned his back and his face from Jesus as he suffered the brunt force of anger against sin. Our Savior did this so that when we call out to the Lord he listens and answers and helps and receives us. We find safety from our sins, safety from Satan, safety from death, and safety from damnation in the loving patience of our God.
With this new life of forgiveness found in God’s mercy, we can also find Safety in God’s Path. “Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.” Even as a successful and popular king in Israel, David found that he had enemies raging against him with false claims and violent intentions. At the same time David was surrounded by a multitude of temptations tugging to pull him away from the Lord.
The same is true for us today. Even in the safety of America we are finding more and more oppression. The media mob, political pundits, and jabbing jokesters ceaselessly breathe out lies against us. Again, the constant threat of terrorists surrounds us. Tireless tirades of temptations assault us.
There is only one place for us to find safety—in the paths of the Lord. So we join David to pray, “Teach me your way, O Lord.”
Finally, the greatest comfort we also share with David. We have Safety in God’s Promise and Paradise. “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Even if David would have been overcome by his enemies, or even if David lost everything treasured he had including his life, he still knew that he had something to hope in. He would see the Lord and his goodness eternally in the land of those living forever.
So in this life our problems might not end. We might not see an end to sickness and disease. We might see an increase in terrorist activities. We might gain even more enemies. Yet no matter what happens in life, we hold fast to the greatest and surest of hopes—we will see the Lord and his goodness eternally in the land of those living forever. Some day soon, we will be with David and with Jesus—pain and problem free forever.
There is danger and disaster all around us. Pains and problems increase. Temptations and trials overwhelm us. Yet like David, we know where to turn. The Lord. We find safety in him in his power, his presence, his patience, his path, and his promised paradise. So, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Posted on September 27, 2012, in Church, Sermons and tagged Afraid, Church, David, Fear, Paradise, Paths, Patience, Power, Presence, Promise, Psalm 27, Psalms, Safety, Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.