Dwell, Gaze, and Inquire Through the Fear of Loss in Psalm 27

Dwell, Gaze, and Inquire Through the Fear of Loss in Psalm 27

When loss assails and you come face-to-face with brokenness, fear and darkness close in upon you. For someone who hasn’t faced fear this new invasion can be alarming and disconcerting. The faithful have to coach themselves with a question: “Who shall I fear?”

“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?” Psalm 27:1

Faith knows fear doesn’t have the last word. The Lord is a stronghold, and we do not have to be afraid. The Lord is our light in darkness and our salvation when we need a rescuer.

Evildoers, adversaries, and foes are no match. Armies may gather. Circumstances may appear. However, the faithful get to choose to stand in confidence.

“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.” Psalm 27:4

Kim was and is often quoted in our family. Coming to the defense of our family dog, Elle, Kim would sympathetically say, “She doesn’t ask for much.” Kim’s heart was soft toward her dog. And in her opinion, Elle didn’t ask for much.

David doesn’t ask for much either. His sights are set. He did not ask for good circumstances or temporal gain. Instead, he only asked one thing of the Lord. He desired to dwell in God’s house, to gaze upon his beauty, and to inquire of God in his presence. Desiring this one thing, and seeking it alone, positions you for the day of trouble. You are positioned upon the rock. This confidence gives birth to shouts of joy and melody on the lips.

David cries to God aloud. I have cried out to God, as well. My prayer mirrors David’s prayer in verse 7, “…be gracious to me and answer me!” David confirms that he has heard God’s instruction to seek his face. He responds, “My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek’” (Psalm 27:8). David presses the request deeper and begs God not to hide his face or to turn away in anger. He turns to God as the God of his salvation. Where else do you turn when you are seeking only one thing? Even if David’s father and mother forsake him, the Lord has room for him in his house.

“Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path…” Psalm 27:11

David recognizes that it’s one thing to ask the Lord to turn to him, but it’s another thing entirely for David to turn to God. While he’s petitioning God to be gracious and not hide, he recognizes there is a narrow road and a level path he needs to follow. So he beseeches the Lord to teach him his way. Proverbs 16:9 explains, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” David understood that the secret to standing in times of fear was the light of the salvation of the Lord. That light, that provides illumination in the darkness of fear, is brightest when we seek to be in the Lord’s house, to gaze upon his beauty, and to inquire in his temple. That illumination—being taught in his ways—shines through the fear to provide that level path.

Our role is to wait, be strong, and take courage. By faith, set your gaze upon God’s goodness that shines bright in loss.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14

“When we don’t understand His knowledge, truth, or love in circumstances, illness, or death, we wait in our Refuge and trust His heart. …Wait, be strong, and take courage are our instructions.” Bud Fray with Kim P. Davis, Both Feet In


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