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    The Porch for March 17 19
    Lent 2 – Psalm 27

    Verses

    27:1 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?

    – Fear – means also awe
    – Afraid – dread
    – Describe the tone of this psalm from this verse.

    27:2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh– my adversaries and foes– they shall stumble and fall.

    – Devour – literally eat my flesh. What do you think this means?
    – Assail – literally it’s about “came near” + “work against”
    – Fall – fall down, die, fail
    – What might make these wicked ones fall?

    27:3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

    – Heart – inner person (being), mind, will, heart
    – Confident – trust, bold
    – Notice the progression of who is against the psalmist – evildoers, and army, a war!
    – What is the source of the psalmist’s boldness and confidence?

    27:4 One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

    – Seek – to strive after — ask, beg, beseech, desire, enquire, get, make inquisition, procure, (make) request, require, seek (for)
    – Beauty – agreeableness, i.e. Delight, suitableness, splendor or grace — beauty, pleasant(-ness).
    – Inquire – to break forth, i.e. (figuratively) to inspect, admire, care for, consider — (make) inquire (-ry), (make) search, seek out.
    – How might you rephrase this to apply to your life?

    27:5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

    – Hide – hidden, also can mean stored up (like treasure)
    – Conceal – this is the much more common word for “hide”
    – Tent – tabernacle, as in the Temple!

    27:6 Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

    – Head lifted up – What do you think this means?
    – Shouts of Joy – a shout or blast of war, alarm, or joy, clamour, acclamation of war or joy, rejoicing, (trumpets blaring)
    – To sing – Heb. sheer (shir)
    – Make melody – actually “make music” as in to make music to God, to sing praises (zamar)
    – Notice how defiant the psalmist is – singing praises with enemies all around!

    27:7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

    – Hear – listen, but also with a sense of “obey”!
    – Be gracious = have mercy, show pity
    – Is the psalmist still singing? What has happened?

    27:8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, LORD, do I seek.

    – Heart – inner person…
    – Seek – strive after, desire (same word twice in verse)
    – Face – presence

    27:9 Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

    – Hide – conceal
    – Turn – as in to bend away, almost like recoiling
    – Anger – their word for anger is the same as nostril (as in when breath goes fast in and out like when you’re hot and bothered and angry)
    – Salvation – deliverance, rescue
    – Describe the psalmists state of being currently.

    27:10 If my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up.

    – Take me up – literally, gather and take away – the gathering is a very tender, nurturing image

    27:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

    – Teach – same root as Torah – derives from archery term meaning to point the way! 
    – Level path = smooth
    – How is the psalmist feeling about those armies now?

    27:12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

    – Will – soul, life, appetites, desires, passions, (Heb. nephesh)
    – Risen against me = same language as v.3
    – Breathing out – as in huffing
    – Violence = injustice!
    – False witnesses threaten not on the person but also undermines the integrity of the whole community if that community is based on the word of witnesses!

    27:13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

    – The Hebrew here is awkward, but it says “(I would have lost heart) unless I believed that I would see the goodness…”
    – Land of the living – as opposed to what?

    27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

    – Wait for the LORD = (in Heb.) kaw-veh el ya-h’veh (it rhymes)
    – “Be of good courage. He shall strengthen your heart.” – inner being
    – kaw-veh el ya-h’veh (like a sigh)

    Thoughts

    v.1-3 – trust
    v.4-6 – Temple
    v.7-10 – prayer for help
    v.11-14 – toward a new direction

    What theme grabs you?
    – Faith or fear
    – Trust in God
    – God as stronghold

    Compare verses 1-6 and verses 7-14 – note the tone, the mindset, and the language – including vocab (salvation, adversaries, heart, rise, seek, life), and how God is referred to (3rd person at start, 2nd person later)
    – Sum up the first 6 and the last 8 with one word each! (confidence/lament)

    So different that scholars suspect it was two psalms put together.
    – Do they belong together? Why/not?

    Can you have a lament in the midst of trust? Explain!

    Try to follow who the psalmist is speaking to in each verse!

    What do you think the psalmist’s problem(s) might be?

    What do you think of the colourful language and metaphors?
    – How does such language communicate differently to you?

    Look at Luke 13:34
    – See any connections?

    If today is the “age of anxiety” how can this psalm speak to that?
    – Humans choose power and autonomy.
    – Psalmists suggest something different! (God)

    Does it ever feel like God is hiding from you? Discuss!

    What do you do to seek God’s face?

    How can we be so sure of God’s presence one day, and feel like God’s hiding the next?

    Wait for the Lord!
    – Is that passive or active? Discuss!

    (from Working Preacher)
    This season of Lent is typically a time of soul-searching, reflection, penitence, and drawing close to God. This makes it an especially good time for those raw, honest conversations with God that the psalmist models, conversations grounded in the conviction that God is real and powerful and good.
    – Discuss!

    Shalom!

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