356 – Psalm 27 – Verse to remember

Last time we took a look at how David processed through his circumstances in prayer and fellowship with YHWH. We paid particular attention to how prayer adjusted David’s perspective of his situation. David seems to have settled his confidence in his redeemer because he moves from asking YHWH for help, to asking YHWH to “teach” him His (YHWH’s) ways.

Psalm 27:10–14 (NKJV) 

11 Teach me Your way, O [YHWH],

And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;

For false witnesses have risen against me,

And such as breathe out violence.

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed

That I would see the goodness of the [YHWH]

In the land of the living.

14 Wait on [YHWH];

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on [YHWH]!

Look at verse eleven. Is David asking YHWH to reveal His proclivities – His ways of doing things, or is David asking for YHWH’s physical directions? In other words, is David asking YHWH to reveal what path YHWH has chosen for  David to travel? Before taking a close look at this verse I would have thought David was asking YHWH to reveal stuff about Himself. What do you do? What are your “ways” meaning, “How do you do things?”

That might be a reasonable conclusion except that the rest of the verse gives us vital information leading us to a better understanding. David continues, signaled by the word “and”, “lead me in a smooth path”, away from enemies. David seems to be asking something akin to, “YHWH, what is your will? Where should I go? How should I walk? Lead me easily away from my enemies. 

Could David be speaking metaphorically about “YHWH’s way”, a “smooth way”? I’ll let you study that and come to your own conclusion. But first, a word of caution. Let your study of the text inform your conclusion. Don’t jump to allegorizing or choosing a metaphorical meaning of the text because you want it to have some spiritual significance and not a physical one. Don’t just look at verse eleven by itself. Verse twelve seems physical and it seems related to verse eleven. Does that affect your conclusion?

Look at verse thirteen. “I would have lost heart”, we could supply words for the implied second part by saying, “but I didn’t”! The reason David didn’t lose heart? He proclaims it’s because “…I had believed [I knew] That I would see the goodness of the [YHWH] In the land of the living” (bracketed text mine). David knew He would see YHWH’s goodness after death, but his confidence was that David would see YHWH’s goodness, “…in the land of the living”!

Next, David issues two commands, one of which he repeats, to both the original biblical audience, all audiences throughout history including us, and any future audiences as well, “Wait on YHWH…” and “Be of good courage”, which we might put into the modern vernacular as “be greatly encouraged”!

Why David? Why should we wait on YHWH? Why should we be greatly encouraged? Simply put, if we wait on YHWH, He will “strengthen [our] hearts”! That’s such good news that David felt compelled to say it again to drive the point home, “Wait, I say, on [YHWH]”!

Do you see it? David had real enemies physically threatening his life! They would have killed him if they could have caught him. He experienced danger and fear like most of us probably never will, and yet his instruction to us was, “Wait on YHWH”! He wasn’t just repeating some religious platitude. No, he was speaking from experience that YHWH is our greatest hope regardless of the enemy so wait for His deliverance. 

If you could memorize just one Bible verse I hope you would consider memorizing this one. I believe this is the “timeless truth” or spiritual truth this wonderful Psalm is communicating to us.

Psalm 27:13–14 (NKJV)

14 Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

I know there’s a lot here beyond the scope of our study today, but consider what Isaiah told Israel.

Isaiah 40:26–31 (NKJV)

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

And speak, O Israel:

“My way is hidden from [YHWH],

And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

28 Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the Lord,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

31 But those who wait on [YHWH]

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.


Will you apply the truth we discovered today? Will I?

YHWH truly is worthy of all praise, worship, adoration, and service! Wait on Him!

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