Is it just me or is everyone exhausted? This year has beat us up pretty badly. We have dealt with friends and families, facing illness, death, loneliness, isolation, confusion, complete upheaval of our everyday lives, and don’t forget the hunting for toilet paper! It has been an eye opener for those of us who love to plan and figure things out ahead of time. Everything that has been known to us is now somehow other.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is our King, He hasn’t left the building. He hasn’t forgotten us and His calendar moves us forward. We are propelled forward to His days that are approaching as we slip into the month of Elul. The month of Elul is the preparation month preceding the fall feasts of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. During the month of Elul we traditionally read Psalm 27 each day. This year I think it is even more important to read this psalm!
Every verse of this psalm is life giving to us but, I’m just going to cover three verses that jumped out at me:
- Verse 3 – “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” An army is not just a single person or incident. It is made up of many individual components, and notice that it doesn’t just come once but, it is a “siege”. A siege is usually a very long event. So, we need to realize that the war that we’re in has an army, the target is us and it is an ongoing battle. Notice that it says, “even then I will be confident”. The word “confident” in Hebrew is “batach” and means to trust! Our confidence only comes as we trust our God!
- Verse 10 – “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” It is human nature to turn to our loved ones when we are going through difficult circumstances. The Lord uses “father” and “mother” to illustrate one of the most intimate relationships where we can usually depend on them to stand by us. However, in this verse King David is stating that these parents have forsaken him. Even though the parents have forsaken him the Lord has not forsaken David. He also says that “the Lord will receive me.” Another way to say it is that, He will take me up. He will gather you to Him, you are not alone, you are in His arms.
- Verse 13-14 – “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” When we define despair it is the complete loss or absence of hope. David is saying that unless he had believed that he would see God’s goodness he would have succumbed to despair! Belief is a choice that we must make otherwise despair will overtake us. Also, notice that David says the Lord’s goodness isn’t something far away but, it is in the land of the living. Sometimes, the Lord’s goodness seems very far away but, if we “take courage and wait for the Lord” we will see His goodness.
It has been a difficult year full of the unknown yet, our King is known and calling us to prepare our hearts. During this month of Elul, let’s prepare to meet our bridegroom!