Psalm 27 (NRSV)
Verse 1The 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?
Verse 2When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh- my adversaries and foes- they shall stumble and fall.
Verse 3Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
Verse 4One 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.
Verse 5For 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.
Verse 6Now 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.
Verse 7Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
Verse 8"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Verse 9Do 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!
Verse 10If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Verse 11Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Verse 12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
Verse 13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Verse 14Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Most people find it easier to trust in God when life is going well; crises can snatch away our confidence. This psalm describes scary foes: opponents, liars, slanderers, and violent assailants. They threaten individuals' physical and social well-being. When they assume positions of significant power in governments and businesses, their treachery multiplies and they steal hope from communities and nations. The psalm's unshakeable trust in God's benevolence is appropriate for beleaguered believers who worry that they are no match for the endless stamina of bullies, haters, narcissists, and cruel manipulators of economic and political policies. Those who casually deny people their God-given dignity will, the psalmist believes, never be a match for "the goodness of the LORD." Let us expect to see that goodness here and now, in the communities where we live, even as we urge God to provide it through our efforts to make it known.
God of security and comfort, strengthen your people to stand against injustice by following your lead. Prompt us to repent of injuries we have caused to other people's health, reputation, and potential. Raise us again to stand in solidarity with those who wait for you to restore them. Amen.