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. Psalm 27:5
You wouldn’t think a song about trouble would become a Broadway musical classic. But “Ya Got Trouble,” from the 1957 Broadway musical The Music Man, did just that. It’s a rousing number in which a slippery salesman tries to convince the town to ward off the dangers to young people about temptations like pool halls: “Trouble starts with a capital t, and that rhymes with p, and that stands for pool!”
Instead of singing and dancing when trouble appears, most people adopt a more fearful perspective: What’s going to happen? Will I make it through? Ironically, the psalmist David poured out his troubles to God in song, though of a more serious type. And rather than retreat in fear, David advanced into songs of faith. In situations where he was most likely not to worship God—when hurting or in trouble—David demonstrated an amazing ability to worship Him all the more.
If you are in a trial right now, read Psalm 27 and let David’s words of praise be your words as well.
The best rubrics of worship are those which are written on broken hearts. Charles H. Spurgeon
Psalm 27 • One thing have I asked of the Lord
You are a forgiving God . . . abounding in love. Nehemiah 9:17
“If I touched a Bible, it would catch fire in my hands,” said my community college English professor. My heart sank. The novel we’d been reading that morning referenced a Bible verse, and when I pulled out my Bible to look it up, she noticed and commented. My professor seemed to think she was too sinful to be forgiven. Yet I wasn’t bold enough to tell her about God’s love—and that the Bible tells us we can always seek God’s forgiveness.
There’s an example of repentance and forgiveness in Nehemiah. The Israelites had been exiled because of their sin, but now they were allowed to return to Jerusalem. When they’d “settled in,” Ezra the scribe read the law to them (Nehemiah 7:73–8:3). They confessed their sins, remembering that despite their sin God “did not desert” or “abandon them” (9:17, 19). He “heard them” when they cried out; and in compassion and mercy, He was patient with them (vv. 27–31).
In a similar way, God is patient with us. He won’t abandon us if we choose to confess our sin and turn to Him. I wish I could go back and tell my professor that, no matter her past, Jesus loves her and wants her to be part of His family. He feels the same way about you and me. We can approach Him seeking forgiveness—and He will give it!
Reflect & Pray
Do you know someone who feels they’re too sinful for Jesus to forgive them? How does the truth that Jesus has come not for “the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17) speak to this way of thinking?
Dear Father, thank You for forgiving my sins and for Your assurance that no one is too sinful to be forgiven.
To learn more about forgiveness in the Christian life, visit ChristianUniversity.org/SF107.
For us, jealousy isn’t attractive, but for God, it’s a holy attribute. God is unhappy when we worship anyone besides Him. Only He deserves our praise.
When reading in the Old Testament, we may not understand why people would bow before idols—surely they didn’t think that these objects were living and powerful. But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on money, relationships, power, and the like. Though not bad in themselves, such things can become the focus of our worship. That’s why the Father is jealous for our heart.
There are two reasons God won’t tolerate our misplaced devotion. First, He deserves the glory. And second, there is nothing better for us than His love. Praising Him above all else is actually in our own best interest. Therefore, when our heart doesn’t belong solely to Christ, He will use discipline and reminders so we will prioritize Him.
This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, pray about what might be an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask the Lord for help in making Him the object of your devotion
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)
The Lord Jesus was evidently speaking here not of the differences between saved and unsaved people but rather of degrees of reward in His future kingdom. The criterion for achieving “greatness” in the future life is simply to believe, teach, and obey the complete Word of God in this life, not just the major doctrines and general principles. Those who undermine any part of God’s Word, either in teaching or practice, will be relegated to “least in the kingdom of heaven.” In the words of the apostle Paul, such a person “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15).
Thus, no Scripture is unimportant, for “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16). In fact, the verse just previous to our text, providing the basis for the Lord’s warning about breaking even the least commandment, is His remarkable assertion about the verbal inerrancy of Scripture: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).
There are many Christians (especially among intellectuals) who say they believe the Bible but are nevertheless quick to adapt their interpretations of Scripture to the latest speculations of scientists or to current fads of world living. This is insulting to God, who surely can say what He means! “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
If we aspire to greatness in the coming kingdom, then clearly we must believe and teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) according to His revealed Word. HMM