Psalm 27 – Faith Over Fear

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I’m going to invite you to the Book of Psalms today. Psalm 27 is where we’re going to be. We’re going to spend the month of July looking through the Book of Psalms. I have a goal in my life before I die. I want to teach every chapter out of the book of Psalms. And so traditionally here as a church, we have taken, I think, out of a special last few years, taken a month out of the summer to focus on the Book of Psalms. We usually take about 4 or 5 weeks to look at the Book of Psalms. In the month of July. We’re going to spend five weeks in July going through the Book of Psalms together. If you want to know preemptively where we’re going to be today, we’re in Psalm 27. Next week we’re going to be in Psalm 63, which talks about Thirsting for God, Psalm 73, which deals with finding strength in the Lord. We’re going to look at Psalm 51, which deals with guilt and shame. And with that and then we’re going to end in Psalm 19, which talks about the glory of God revealed the revelation of the Lord made known to us. And so a beautiful place of worship, the book of Psalms. It spans about a thousand years. It took to write specifically Psalm 27. We’re going to look at it today. It’s 3000 years old. We’re going to be reading from this ancient text from from David.

When you study the Psalms, one of the things that is unique about the Book of Psalms, it’s the biggest, biggest book in the Bible. But out of all the books of the Bible, the uniqueness of Psalms is that the book of Psalms is man’s response to God. You read the other 65 books of the Bible or manuscripts of the Bible. It generally is is God speaking to man. But when you come to the Book of Psalms, it’s it’s man replying back to God. It’s a beautiful book that teaches us really how to worship and engage the Lord. And when you read through the book of Psalms, you’ll see that Psalms covers a gamut of human experience, very raw in its in its description. In fact, some people read the Book of Psalms. David wrote the majority of the Psalms, or about half of the Psalms at least, are attributed to David. There are some authorships that are unknown. Some assume it’s David, but for the most part, David wrote at least half of these Psalms. And when people read the Book of Psalms and the story of David’s life, some people think that David struggled with some chemical imbalance. Some some people think that he might have had some bipolar disorders or some sort of struggle in his life where David was very high and very low. I mean, he had a lot on his shoulders that probably played a part of it.

But the Book of Psalms and that struggle shows the life of David, how he engaged the Lord in his relationship. And David is called a man after God’s own heart and the Bible. And so he was one that pursued God in the struggles of life. And through His Psalms, he teaches us how to the Lord and the challenges that we go through. If you look at Psalms, you’ll see that they cover a gamut of topics like there’s there’s psalms of praise, Psalms of Thanksgiving, there’s Psalms of lament, there’s Psalms for Coronation, there’s Psalms for holidays, There’s all types of psalms that you can read depending on where you are in life. Even for regular gatherings, there are psalms that Israel would go through. And in Psalm 27 today, we’re going to look at what it means to have faith in the Lord in the midst of fear. And David, as he goes through this psalm, really the first three verses of this psalm lays out for us the struggle that David is experiencing. And and Psalm chapter 27, verse one, it says this The Lord is the light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? So you see in this story, David, he’s talking about there’s certainly a fear there, but he’s reminding himself of what he has in the Lord. Because in verse two and verse three, he then starts to describe the adversity He’s experiencing in the midst of his position in the Lord.

He says, When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me. My heart shall not fear though war rise against me. Yet I will be confident Sometimes when you study the Psalms, you have the privilege of of looking at the historical context of what led to the writing of the Psalms. And in Psalms 27, some people speculate as to what might be taking place in the life of David that led him to write this psalm. But truth be told, the way that David describes his situation in this Psalm, this could have happened at any time during David’s adult life. This psalm could have been taken place during any part of his his leading of Israel or even as he was as he was anointed as king of Israel when Saul hunted David down anytime during David’s adult life. This this this could have been a part of his story, which really for for all of us becomes relevant because what David is describing here is the hardship that happens to all of us, the bad things that take place, the gamut of of human concern and experience, the evil and terror in life. And he really leaves us in his first. Three verses asking the question, what do we do when when we we think about the Lord? And the concerns of what we go through in life.

How do we respond? And in fact, we’re going to talk about it through the Psalms, through through three questions, really. David answers for us. He’s very honest with his adversity that he faces, and he teaches us three things within the context of this psalm. Number one, he’s going to talk about what do we do? Number two, he’s going to talk about why do we do it? And then number three, he’s going to answer for us. How? How do we do it? Because it’s one thing to know what. But but more important than that is how what’s the process look like in our lives in order to to live out this Psalm and define the Lord as the light and my salvation and the stronghold of my life, whom shall I be afraid? And we we think in terms of the difficulty we go through in life and we we know that reality. What do we do? How do we work through that becomes important for us. And in verse four, David brings the struggle of his life down to one idea. In fact, verse four, that’s exactly where he starts out of all the things that he’s going through, out of all the challenges that he faces in life, he brings it down to the solitude of thought in his identity in the Lord.

He says this one thing, one thing. Out of all the challenges, all the the gamut of the human experience that I go through in life, one thing. Have I asked to the Lord? That will I seek. After that, I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Now we’re going to talk about how this all plays out in our life in just a moment. But but to simply look at what David says, he brings all of this experience that he’s enduring and going through down to this one. One thought one thing and it’s amazing with all the adversity David is facing that that he can bring it down to this singular place. And and when David gives a response and when he talks about this one thing that I want from the Lord, I can think about when I’m going through difficulty like this, or I might have an army encamped around me or people that are adversaries towards me and they want my demise and destruction. They’re not for me, but they’re against me. And I come to God with one request. What that request might look like, right? God, remove the fear. Or God, stop the adversity that I’m going through or destroy this army. But but rather than simply replacing this bad thing.

Or removing the adversity he’s going through in life. David is seeking something more because David knows God, if you take away this fear or God, you just I just simply ask you to take away this difficulty. Reality is something else will replace it. Another fear will come along and another obstacle will be placed before me. I need something that transcends the circumstance because life is full of obstacles and life is full of challenges, and life certainly has its fears. And so rather than just simply ask God to remove those from him, David rather looks at something that transcends all of them for which brings him hope in this life. And when David talks about this one thing, he’s not simply ignoring the trouble that he faces. Some beliefs might teach you to do that, right? You go through the trouble in life and you want to you want to just come above the reality of that experience by just simply trying to ignore that, that it exists. And that’s not the way David is confronting his circumstances at all. In fact, he’s he’s stepping straight into the struggle and he wants something that transcends beyond the struggle, though, being very honest with where he is in life. What does David do? One thing. He focuses on the Lord. Now, I don’t think it’s wrong to necessarily ask God to remove trouble, struggle, fear from your life. And when you think about the Lord’s Prayer, certainly a part of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew six, it focuses on verse 13 on the idea of God, remove me from this.

Lead me not into temptation, it says, but deliver me from evil. But you know what’s interesting? While in the Lord’s Prayer, God, God certainly says it’s not wrong to ask God to take you from a circumstance that that is presented adversity to you. But but before you even get to a statement like that that lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil long before that, do you know what God teaches us to focus on? Jesus teaches his disciples in prayer to focus on. The greatness of God in the midst of all of it. Far before you get to the place where he asks for that deliverance. The Lord teaches us to focus on the greatness of who God is, to not make our minds saturated and just the small battles of life, but the greatness of God who is victorious over it all. I mean, you know how the Lord’s Prayer goes, right? Our Father, who is in heaven, sacred or hallowed, is your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us. And then he says, Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever.

Amen. The focus of the of that prayer is on the greatness of God. Because Jesus knows as as David has taught us in the Psalms and Christ certainly knows because he’s the creator of it all, that in life we’re going to have adversity. But beyond adversity, we have one who transcends. So what does David do? He. He seeks the Lord. Leaving me with this question for you. What is your go to in your trouble? When you experience adversity, where does your heart immediately draw what you often find in the lives of people? We typically do one of two responses that lack faith. One is we respond in anger because we want to control the situation or we feel out of control. And we we clam up and we hide and we we we go to a place of fear and we don’t respond at all. We become passive. But David, in this moment, he’s being honest with the struggle and he’s also responding with the faith for one who transcends the circumstance. That’s what David does. But the question then is why does he do it? And he goes on and he shows a little bit further, verse five, for he will not he will hide me in the shelter in the day of trouble. He will conceal me under the cover of his tent. He will lift me high up on a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me. I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing and make melody to the Lord. And David, in this passage in verse five and six, he’s acknowledging again, this this circumstance isn’t something that has happened to him, but rather is going on in the middle of him seeking after the Lord. In verse five, he refers to this moment as in the day of trouble, not He’s, he’s being taken from the day of trouble or simply this was something in his past. But this is active in the moment. He finds himself in the day of trouble. And then in verse six, he says this, that the enemies are actively surrounding me. Right? These enemies are at his doorstep in this moment. He goes on in verse ten and in verse 12, he describes more adversity. In verse ten, he talks about his family, even if his mother and father abandon him. So. So David is being honest with the reality of where he finds himself. But also in verse six, at the very beginning, he says this, Now my head shall be lifted up. What David is using in this phrase is this idiom that reminds him in Christ, though, though the world may come against him, though people may try to shame him in the Lord, there is no reason to ever be ashamed.

He can always lift his high head high because he will have no regrets. There is no reason to to be ashamed because God will never disappoint him. And so David is reminding himself of of being faithful to the Lord in the midst of his challenges, because he knows he serves a God that will never disappoint, that will always fulfill his promises. And he wants his mind to be fixated on the reality of that truth though adversity be around him. In fact, throughout Scripture, we’re reminded of this again and again. In Luke chapter 21, dealing with the end of days, Jesus describes our circumstances like this. He says, People fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world for the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then they will see the son of man coming in the cloud with power and great glory. What God is describing as those that know the Lord and those that oppose the Lord and God coming with His second coming, Jesus returning triumphantly, the son of man coming in the clouds. That’s the image of deity and his return and his great glory. Now, when these things begin to take place, look what he says for believers. Straighten up and raise your heads because your redemption is drawing near. When we think about the end of days and the second coming of Christ, which was a theology, Jesus taught more than any other, that he came as a suffering servant and he will return as a triumphant king in his Second Coming when he returns to the triumphant king.

Sometimes I hear Christians talk about the Second Coming like a doomsday event. But when you see Jesus describing it for the life of believers, the son of man’s return, he describes it for us in a way that tells us, no, lift up your heads. This is not something to be afraid of or to turn away from, but but to recognize this is where your hope has been. And as you have pursued Christ, this is a moment to celebrate in your life that you will not be ashamed. This God is faithful. In fact, in Luke 23, it talks about those that that have turned from Christ, that have opposed God, that have never given their faith to him. It says, rather than repent in those moments and turn to the Lord, this is what they do. They will say to the mountains, fall on us and to the hills, cover us. Even at the return of Jesus, rather than bow, they would they would rather die than give their life to Christ. And God is acknowledging in this passage. The importance of your position in Jesus and the authority it brings to you. The wildlife brings struggle for those in Christ. There is there is no reason. To lower your head and shame because God is faithful.

No doubt in life you will go through battles. And sometimes those battles may feel like a temporary defeat. And maybe in life you feel like you’ve lost more battles than you’ve won. But what he’s reminding us is in the end, it’s the final victory that gets to state its authority over all things. And in Christ, you have that ultimate victory. So therefore, in Jesus, you should not lose hope because God will not disappoint. He will reconcile all wrong in your life. And give you a place to lift your head in Christ. And so therefore, David says in this psalm, we will sacrifice with joy. With shouts of joy because we know where our deliverance comes from. We have this joy because we we know the source of the person through which we trust in the amidst of our adversity. And we know that he is faithful. And we need to talk about then how. So you see here in this passage what David does. One thing he’s seeing this passage why David does it in the midst of adversity. He knows the hope that he has in Christ, and that far outweighs everything for him, so that he can still come with joy in the midst of his sacrifices because he knows the one whom he has believed so. So the question the most important question in all of it is how do we do it? But how do we move into this, as David is described in Psalm 27? To experience the the truth of this passage.

And and so David says in verse 27, verse four, again, I want to review this one more time. One thing have I asked the Lord. That will I seek. After that, I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. Really, David, I want to talk about the dwelling in the house in a minute. But David, David brings down this this singular thought to this this one idea that the last part of verse seven, that he may gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple, to dwell in his house, to inquire in his temple. So. So what does that mean? How do we do that as believers? This is where David has found his singular hope. This one thing in the midst of the challenges that he’s going through, that he would gaze on the beauty of the Lord and that he would inquire in his temple How how does that look in the life of a believer? How how does my life become about that in the midst of the challenges that I may go through in this world? And this for us is the the most practical part, I think, of the application for us to to understand in this passage.

And so in terms of beauty, when we talk about beauty, there are there are many Hebrew words that describe the idea of beauty. But in this passage, this this word for beauty is something that is that is excellent, that is attractive. It demands your attention, and in fact, it brings satisfaction to your soul. This is more than just simply it looks pretty. But rather you find your your soul not only drawn into it, but completely filled up by it. And David is saying this is this is what my life has become, to be saturated in the beauty of Christ and and for all of us, we love to be captivated by beauty. In fact, I would say our senses as human beings are five senses are motivated and captured by the reality of beauty. You think about your your sense of of smell or sight or or touch or taste or sound. All of those things are are motivated by by beauty. It’s why when we gather as a church and we we we start our services with singing before the Lord the beauty of melody. It speaks to our soul and inspires the heart to seek after God that that someone could artistically take sound notes and put that together in such a way that it creates a melody that brings joy to the heart. As you express worship to God. I mean, you know what it is in life if you go through a difficult experience and and you might have a certain song that will bring you back to a place that you you enjoy, or maybe, maybe in your own relationship, in a marriage, you have a battle with your spouse over something that was a little bit meaningless and all of a sudden your favorite song comes on, right? And and it just changes the mood of the room because that song takes you to a place and attaches itself to this memory.

And through that sound, you experience joy. Or maybe you’ve gone through a difficult time at work and you just need to get away and you drive up to the mountains and the side of God’s creation brings rest to your soul. I The sense of smell. There’s power in smell. You can smell certain things that will take you back to memories as a child. Or even you can buy candles today with scents from regions in the United States. If you were if you were maybe even in the world, I don’t know. But if you were born in a certain place and you want the certain memories of home to come back to you, you light a candle and it just saturates the air with the aroma of where you grew up. Or maybe you walk through a grocery store and you pass by someone and they’re wearing a certain fragrance that takes you back to a friendship that you had with someone that you lost and all of a sudden you’re flooded.

Your soul is flooded with the attachment of those memories because of that smell. We are captivated by beauty, of which we experience through those senses in our life. And this is exactly what David is saying about the Lord. To gaze on the beauty of God. You know, as we we go through life and we experience the beauty of creation and the things God has given us through the senses that he has designed and even our our feelings. We find that over time, beauty fades. Memories diminish. Things fall apart, that that what captivates us and we will we will pay thousands of dollars for experiences of beauty, won’t we? I mean, we’ll go on vacations to see new things to to go on sensory overload of, of of life’s beauty that we have not experienced. But but the reality is they fade. And you think about even in your own life, as you look in the mirror as days go by from a child to a youth and now into adulthood where where your smile used to be, now you might be afraid because a wrinkle has replaced it, right? Some some gray grows in the hair and and things start to fade over time. I mean, even even the glory of the mountains are are diminishing as days go by because the wear and tear of life just shrinks their height.

All things fade. Except for. The beauty of the Lord. All the beauty of life is but a hint. To the beauty of which God possesses. And when you read a phrase like this in Scripture that that David says, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. One of the things that I just I recognize as a pastor trying to communicate a passage like this that just to simply describe beauty. You can’t fully capture it in a in a description. Beauty is not intended to simply be described. It’s intended to be experienced. Because it’s in the experience of the beauty that you begin to understand the full gamut. It’s why you don’t just settle for a postcard, but you really you can’t just look at a picture of the Grand Canyon and appreciate the Grand Canyon. You’ve got to see it with your eyes. It’s the same thing with the beauty that David is describing in this passage, the beauty of the Lord. He’s not just simply writing words on the page that we intellectually understand. Oh yeah, God is beautiful, but to inspire the heart to seek after the beauty in the midst of struggle, because he knows the greatness of God surpasses it all. Which is why David chooses to not just simply say the beauty of the Lord, but rather he encourages the soul to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

Which means it’s not just simply to know about, but rather to experientially know the goodness of this God. What David is really describing for us is the idea of meditation in Scripture. When we talk about meditation, he’s not it’s not just saying you sit in the lotus position and you hum until all things are of escaped, right? That’s not biblical meditation at all. Eastern meditation is is really meditating to the point of nothingness. Biblical meditation is filling the soul with goodness. It’s taking the goodness of God and letting your heart be saturated and filled with that. Meditation and scripture is churning over and over the truth of who God is, that it becomes not just something, you know, but something that’s a part of you. And David is saying, in the midst of my challenges, this is what I want my life to be about. How do I do it in my life? I meditate on the goodness of God so that who God is doesn’t just simply be something that I know about, but it’s something I experience in my life. It becomes a part of who I am because the greatness of God revealed to me. I may know Christ to gaze upon him. Can I just ask? When’s the last time you felt like? You’ve really gazed on the beauty of the Lord. Gazing on the beauty. There’s something about this, I think that that sets apart God’s people from religious people.

The religious people pursue God in order to get something. Religious people pursue God as if God is a tool to serve a purpose that they have in and of themselves, apart from God, meaning God is simply just a leverage point to push them forward, to go wherever it is they desire to be. But but in the life of a true believer in the Lord, we understand that that God is not just simply something that we come to in order to get to a better place in life, But God Himself, He is the prize of life. There is nothing greater than God, which is why all other beauty fades except in His presence. Because his beauty is forevermore. And if you get God, you have the prize of what life is about and all good things flow from it. And so David is acknowledging here, rather than just simply a thing, rather than just replace adversity, rather than just just take away the fear. God, I want the greatest prize in all things, which is you. Which is why when David is talking about this, he he says that he wants to go to the to the temple of the Lord. And to experience God, because in David’s day, the temple was the place where God’s presence dwelt. In fact, in Psalm 1611, it says in your presence is the fullness of joy. It literally translates as it’s the joy, joy, the greatness of all.

Joy is in your presence and in David’s mind, in order to get to the presence of God, he wanted to go where God dwelled. And in in David’s day, the presence of God dwelt in the temple. And so what David is saying is, Lord, I just want to I want to be in your presence all of my days, because I know in that beauty all other things pass away. Because what I have in you. Is secure. In terms of of Temple in David’s day, I think it’s important to remind ourselves what Temple represents. It’s not to say. And now you as a Christian, should go to to the temple to experience these things, but but to rather understand the idea of what David is saying in Temple, because the picture of Temple is has certainly changed. But when when David went to the temple and the presence of God, the idea of temple was about relationship with God. Through the redemption that God brought to us. I’m a relationship with God through the redemption that God brought to us. I mean, when you went to the temple, the presence of God rested in one room, and for someone to go into that room, only one person could go into that room one day a year, and they had to do it by sacrifice. Shedding of blood on the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 17. Because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.

And they would go into this temple, and this temple represented the presence of God with this sacrifice that birthed redemption and new life for us because of the forgiveness that God gave, because of sacrifice. It was an ultimate picture of what Jesus would do for all of us. And David is saying, I just want to be near that God. I want to be near him and experience the fullness of joy, the joy, joy. Because in your presence is joy forevermore. In John chapter four and verse 23, if you remember this story in Scripture, this is where Jesus encountered the woman at the well. And yes, Jesus, a very pointed question about thinking he was a prophet. She asked him a very pointed question about temples. If you remember if you know anything about Israel’s history, Israel built a temple in Jerusalem. Israel only ever had one temple. That’s all God told his people to build was one temple. That temple had two rooms for worship and Israel rejected the Samaritans. The Samaritans had a connection to Judaism, but the Jews rejected them. And so they decided to build their own temple in Samaria. And now there are two temples. And so she asked the question of Jesus, which temples right to worship in. And Jesus doesn’t deny the idea of a temple, but rather he responds in the New Testament in a different way.

He doesn’t encourage us to go to the temple anymore, but rather he says the time is coming and now is. And those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. Meaning what Jesus says in John 423 is God’s going to do something new with his people. It’s not about going to the temple. It’s about understanding that God has created you to be a temple. The presence of God dwelling in his people that you can meet with God wherever you are. I know as a church we gather here on Sunday and some of us we describe coming to this building as going to the church, which you’re not entirely wrong. We’re going to a building where the church is certainly. And some people, when you step into this room, I know traditionally some people have been taught to say this is the sanctuary, Right. Let’s gather in the sanctuary. You will find me never using that word to refer to this room. I always call this room the auditorium, because I don’t want to lose perspective of what God has made you. What God has made all of us in him is walking sanctuaries. Wherever you go, the presence of God goes with you. Spirit And in truth. Hopefully you understand the truth of who God is and by the Spirit of God that indwells you can connect to God wherever you are that you may know Him. So while David is thinking about going to the temple to gaze on the beauty of the Lord, to be near to God, the gift for you in the New Testament, because of what Christ has done, is that you always have the privilege of being near to the Lord in Him because of what he’s done for you, which gives you further opportunity to gaze into the beauty of who God is.

In fact, in verse eight, he says this You have said, Seek my face. My heart says to you, your face, Lord, do I seek. In terms of seeking God’s face, this is David again, reflecting on the on the idea of of being in the presence of the Lord. This this phrase seek his face is another idiom in Scripture. It’s important for you to know if anyone ever tells you they have seen the face of God, the Father, and they mean that literally. They are wrong. It’s not biblical. It’s not right, and it can’t happen. It’s not true. In fact, if you want a few verses first. Timothy 616 Colossians Chapter one, verse 15, it says this about Jesus in Jesus, the fullness of deity in Him. No, I’m messing it up. He is the image. There it is. He is the image. I was quoting Colossians two nine and Colossians 115. He is the image. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

You know what it says about God? The Father. He is invisible. Right. In first Timothy 616. It says No one has ever seen God. No one will ever see God. It is an impossibility. So when David is saying seek his face in this passage, he’s not literally saying, God, the Father has a face. I want to see his face, but rather what he’s what he’s acknowledging for us is there is a way we connect soul to soul. If you want to have a conversation with someone and you want to make it personal. What you do is you get in front of them and you talk face to face. I think as a father, sometimes when I need to discipline my kids to make sure they understand. One of the things I want to do to make sure they understand what I’m saying is I want to lock eyes to eyes. Like when your kid’s in trouble, a lot of times they’re looking down. As a parent, you just want to turn that chin around and look up for just a minute and make sure you are connected. Right. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Face to face communication. And this is what David’s saying in the story. God, I want to connect to you intimately. To know you in this way and to never leave the presence of what this is. To gaze on your beauty all the days of my life and not lose perspective in light of the things that are going around me.

It goes on and says it like this in verse seven, and we talk about how I think he just continues to show the beauty of connecting our soul to this, to experience the gazing of God. He says, Hear O Lord, when I, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me. Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger. O you who have been my help. I love this. As David has acknowledged, God is beautiful and I want to gaze in his presence. What he’s also saying is, God, don’t reject me. Don’t. Don’t see me as ugly. Don’t turn, turn me away as not beautiful, but rather I want to be embraced by you as I see you. Beautiful. God, I want you to embrace me and. And where I am because I need you. Right. That’s what David is saying in this passage. And so when you think in terms of how how do I understand this, how do I capture this in my life? How do I gaze on the beauty of God? Well, in Isaiah 53, what’s interesting, while Psalm 27 talks about the beauty of God, Isaiah 53 is that passage of Scripture that prophetically speaks about Jesus coming in the New Testament and dying on the cross. So so you have an Old Testament passage here, Isaiah 53, hundreds of years before Jesus is crucified.

Talking about Jesus coming, the Messiah coming and giving his life for us. And look what it says in this passage. He had no form or majesty. Beautiful. God. Comes flush. And he takes on no form or majesty that we should look at him and look at this and no beauty. That we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised. And we esteemed him night. And why? So verse four goes on to tell us. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. And by his wounds, we are healed. See, David knows God has reason to reject him. Because David has sin. Who can come before the presence of a holy God. But what we also discover in Isaiah 53 that while God is beautiful, what does God desire to do? Or what does God do? He takes on no beauty. God takes on no beauty in order that he can make us beautiful in Him. That’s what he says at the end of Isaiah 53 that we read in verse five. And by his wounds, we are healed.

God who is beautiful. Take on no beauty. That we could become beautiful in Christ so that God would welcome us into his presence. When we talk about gazing on the beauty of God, this is the kind of thing that Scripture is acknowledging. For our soul to be refreshed and to understand what God has done for us so that we can connect to Him. God takes us in our ugliness to give us the beauty of Christ so that when God looks at us, he sees the beauty of Jesus and embraces us in His presence that we can delight before the Lord full of joy, joy all the days of our lives. To know him and to walk in him. And you know what’s incredible about a passage like this, to think about God becomes not beautiful so that we can become beautiful in him is that this story makes God more beautiful. You think about this. Who has done this for you in life? Who has ever sacrificed to such an extent as God giving up himself so that you can find freedom in Him and you become beautiful because Christ took on no beauty so that you could be set free. What a glorious God. To know him and to walk with him. And then he goes on and says this in verse nine. Cast me not off, forsake me not O God of my salvation. And again, when you gaze on the beauty of God and you understand what Jesus has done for you, God has every reason in the world to forsake us, His people.

We’re sinful. He’s holy. But yet in the New Testament, what do you find in the life of Jesus and Matthew 27, verse 46, As Jesus hung on the cross, it says this. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, Eli, Eli Lama sabachthani. That is my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? David begs not to be forsaken. And yet what we find in the New Testament is that Jesus was the one forsaken. So that you wouldn’t have to be. How does this work? Why does this work? God will never turn his back on you. Because the father at the cross turned his back on Christ so that in Jesus, God would never leave you. He was forsaken. So that you would never have to be. Gazing on The beauty of who Christ is, is to let your soul meditate in the story of the gospel, because it delivers us freedom and identity and purpose and meaning and hope that transcends beyond our circumstances, because we find a God who would be faithful to us no matter how many times you fail over and over again, God will be faithful to you. And the reason we know is because He was forsaken so that you could find freedom. God paid the extent of the price of all of your sin.

So that you can know Christ. And so in verse 11, Teach me your ways, O Lord, and lead me not a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me and they breathe out violence. David is saying, Lord, lead me down this path. Let me as I think about the pressures in life that can tug me in either direction, Lord, let this be my hope. Let me learn and meditate and refresh and renew. And the reality of this, this truth. And he goes on verse 13, I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. And then he says, Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord. Wait for the Lord. Let God lead you in this. I know. And the difficulty of of moments and the urgency of difficult circumstances. Sometimes we feel we feel the pressure to respond in the flesh. To run from God rather than let our hearts be saturated in the goodness of God and and to follow after him. Which is why I’ll close with this Arthur Pierson. He was a he was a pastor in the 1800s into the early 1900s, very influential, was a pastor, but he was also a prolific writer. And he ended up writing the biography of George Mueller.

And on on one time in his spending time with George Mueller before he passed, he he wrote of a moment where he was in George Mueller’s study and he saw George Mueller’s Bible and he decided to thumb through it. And he and he came to a passage in Psalm 37 and verse 23, and it said this, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. And he noted in the margin Mueller had also written, and so are the stops. The steps of a good man are ordered in the Lord. And George Mueller had written. And so are his stops. You think about Psalm 27, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord. And can I just ask you. Where is God leading your heart to go in Him? Where is your God leading your heart to connect to him, to know him more? Where have you refrained from doing what God has called you to and and leading you in his heart in this world? Or maybe I could ask the other way. Just as George Mueller noted, Where is God calling you to stop? To stop what you’re doing or where you’re going and let your heart be captivated by the beauty of who Christ is. To let that hope fill your life because of what he has done for you. That you could think beyond any circumstance that you are facing in this world of what you ultimately have in Christ.

Jonah vs. Paul