in time of trouble

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5)

In this psalm of praise, David expresses his confidence in the Lord, even though “the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh,” (v. 2). In spite of the danger, he looks to God for safety. “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,” (v. 1). Why did God preserve David? The answer is at least twofold.

First, David had a heart for God. “One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple,” (v. 4). “Thy face, LORD, will I seek,” (v. 8). “Teach me thy way, O LORD,” (v. 11).

The second reason is the nature of God Himself. God, by His very nature, hates evil and extends grace toward His own. He is pictured here as a warrior conquering the evil enemies of David. His laws forbid their actions; His gospel robbed these evildoers of their grip; His final kingdom will be rid of them. Until God’s justice, His gospel, and His purpose all fail, we can be sure that He will act.

In our text, David is hidden in the Lord’s “pavilion.” The word, which literally means a protective covering, was used for the tent of the commander-in-chief. Here, with the commander-in-chief, is the most fortified, guarded, and safe area of the battleground. If the pavilion falls, the battle is lost, and God has failed. Hidden in His pavilion, we are as safe as He. He sees to it that we are not frightened (v. 13) amid the din of battle, and we shall share in the ultimate victory.

In this world, we have tumultuous war; in the next, unbroken peace. Assured of the outcome, we can “wait on the LORD: [and] be of good courage,” (v. 14).

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