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Jesus Creed

This series is called “our common prayerbook” because the Psalms were designed as a prayerbook for Israel and it is the common prayerbook that stands behind all other prayerbooks in use in the Church today. These prayers, or the psalms, are meant to be read aloud, meant to be read together, and meant to teach us how to pray. 

One of the themes we see in the Psalms, and one not often talked about in prayer and in fact one that is often discouraged, is what I call “soulish wandering.” That is, the Psalms reveal prayers that begin in one place but which “wander” into other themes. Psalm 28 contributes to that theme.
It opens with the theme of fearlessness because of YHWH’s strength, then it has a request to dwell in God’s holy place (surely the Temple), and then turns to petitions in the second half.
I see vv. 1-2 to be a theological statement upon which David stands; but which standing is not easy. Yes, YHWH is God; yes, therefore there is no reason to fear. But living a life without fear of one’s enemies is not something that is once and for all settled. David must learn to live fearlessly on the basis of his theology of God’s strength. 
David knows experiences of God’s defeat of his enemies (vv. 1-2); he has a bit of a boast or at least an expression of confidence in v. 3. 
V. 4 is one of the most profound statements in all of the Psalms:
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
The lines are worthy of meditation and cogitation: here we find David’s deepest soulish desire: to dwell in the House of YHWH, which means to gaze upon the beauty of YHWH. One can’t resist connecting this desire to Mary’s desire in the Mary and Martha scene in Luke 10:38-42.

Psa. 27:0   Of David.
Psa. 27:1   The 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?
Psa. 27:2   When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall. 
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
Psa. 27:4   One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple. 
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Psa. 27:6   Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Psa. 27:7   Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me. 
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek. 
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior. 
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me. 
11 Teach me your way, LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors. 
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
Psa. 27:13     I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living. 
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
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