Trust is a difficult word. It is not difficult in its spelling. Nor is the concept that difficult to wrap our brains around. But simple trust is hard to do. Interestingly, children instinctively know how to trust in their parents and in God. As we grow older that ability to trust seems to erode until we become almost cynical and trust virtually no one or nothing. To understand trust we must have a good working definition. One definition says trusting God is relying fully in God’s integrity, strength, ability, and protection.
The first stanza of Psalm 27 boldly proclaims David’s absolute trust in God. Why does David trust God? He tells us that he trusts God because of who He is (verses 1). Second, he also trusts Him because of what God does (verses 2-3). Third, He trusts God because of what God will do for him (verses 4-6).
David opens his Psalm explaining why he implicitly trusts God. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.” David declares his great faith in God and ties that faith to three things that God is. First, David trusts God because God Himself is David’s light. The verbal picture produces many explanations. The best seems to me to be that in the dark places of David’s life God has brought reason and illumination. We cannot help but think of places like Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” We find our way in the darkness of this world through the light that God gives in His revelation of Himself. Only God gives this kind of illumination and direction.
The New Testament speaks of God as light also. In 1 John 1:5 John declares that our fellowship with God and each other is based on the fact that God is light. “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” In the context, John writes of God’s holiness. After saying this he applies it for us. We must walk in the light as God is in the light, if we are going to have fellowship. The way we do that is through constant confession and obedience to Him.
Not only does God illuminate and direct, David also tells us that He delivers us. The LORD Himself is David’s deliverance. He is David’s salvation. David draws the illustration for us in Psalm 23. “Even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” The living God was constantly at David’s side to deliver him. It is important to remember that sometimes deliverance is through the trial not out of it. This was certainly true in David’s life.
In our case, we can apply this not only to the circumstances of life, but also to our deliverance from sin through our eternal salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ is our salvation. Without Him we would be eternally lost and under the condemnation of sin. Because Jesus came and Jesus died was buried and rose again, we are delivered through faith in Him.
Finally, the Lord is the strength or stronghold of David’s life. David was no stranger to refuges and strongholds. He spent many days in refuges and strongholds when he ran for his life from Saul, the lunatic king. God would always find a place for David and his men to hide. In Psalm 31:2-3 this same David prays to God and says, “Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.” Do we look to God as the strength and hiding place of our lives? How well do we know this God? Do we know Him as well as David did? If not, why not?
David trusted God because He was his light and deliverance. He also relied on God because of what the Lord had done. Look at what God did in David’s life. “2When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.” This is from David’s personal rock pile. Like the Children of Israel on the banks of Jordan, he built a memorial in his heart to all that God had done. He visits it in this psalm to remind himself of God’s faithfulness on his behalf. He writes in general terms, but we know that names, faces, and dates mark this experience in David’s life. He knew what the event was when the evil ones came against him and he knew how God had frustrated their schemes and defeated them.
He knew how God had defended him in the past and so he trusted God for the future (verse 3). “Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.” We almost think this is being “cocky.” Still, remember what the writer to the Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 13.5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ 6So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Let us then determine to refuse to be afraid, but rather to trust. This is not an easy job to do.
We might ask, “David, how much do you trust God?” David would answer, “I trust God implicitly because of who He is: He is my light, my deliverer, the refuge and strength of my life. I also trust Him because of what He has done. He had taken away any logical reason for fear. Finally, I trust Him because what He will do for me.” “4One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell 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. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.”
First, David describes his heart’s desire. David wanted to be very close to his God. He speaks vividly and with pictures that every devout Jew understands. He was not worried about the logistics of this wish, only the reality of being where God is, seeing His beauty and asking questions and getting answers from Him. That is what David wanted. He said the same thing in the midst of his fleeing from Saul in Psalm 63. “1O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.” David’s heart cry is always to be with God.
The result of this desire is the triumphant verse 6. “6And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” God will exalt me in the end and I will be a source of praise and thanksgiving to Him.
Does any of David’s confidence apply to us today? The questions this asks us are: “Do we really know what it is to trust God? Do we recognize who He is? Do we remember all He has done in our lives? Can we review these deliverances in praise to Him? If we committed that which is most important to us to Him, what would it be? Would that which is most important to us, please our God?”