This past Sunday morning we studied Psalm 27, and we focused on the psalmist's response to the trouble and hardship that he was facing at the time. He mentions enemies that were pursuing him as a beast pursues its prey to eat up its flesh (v. 2); he speaks of them encamping against him and making war against him (v.3), and he speaks of times of trouble (v.5). It is very clear from these words that the author of this blessed hymn was passing through a time of trouble. Though his trouble seems great, it is clear that he responds by drawing near to his Lord.
One way that the psalmist draws near to God is described in the eighth verse, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8). Two things can be gleaned from this verse: a command and a resolution. First, we see the psalmist referencing a command that was given by the Lord, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face..." It is difficult to know the exact verse to which the psalmist was referring. Some have suggested Deuteronomy 4:29 where Moses declared, "But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all heart and with all thy soul." An exact verse is not cited by David, but is this statement not the summary of God's desire for His people? Read through both the Old and New Testaments, and it is clear that God desires those whom He calls to draw near to Him. He called Abram out of Ur and continually drew that patriarch to commune with Him. God redeemed the children of Israel out of Egypt and graciously led them to Mount Sinai where He met with them. He then instructed them to build the Tabernacle where he would continually meet with them. The New Testament bears witness to the same, God desires that His people draw near to Him. Perhaps the most well known NT verse is found in the book of James, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8). Much could be said of this subject, but the fact echoes through the pages of Scripture, God desires that His people seek after Him.
Not only do we see a command in Psalm 27:8, we also see a resolution. The psalmist writes, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." Despite the troublesome times, the writer of this Psalm was resolved in his heart that he would seek the face of the LORD his God. He would not allow his circumstances to keep him from that! Oh, how we must follow this great example! We are passing through turbulent times and we must, as the people of God, resolve in our hearts to seek God's face. But what does it mean to seek the face of the Lord? How do we do that? Seeking God's face is seeking His will, His wisdom, His guidance, His promise, His direction. How do we do that? First, we seek God as He is revealed in Scripture. Read through the books of Moses, the Psalms, the Prophets and see how God is revealed in those Old Testament writings. But do not stop there, move on to Christ, for He is the final revelation of God to man. Remember the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples just after His resurrection, "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44). Seek God in the Scriptures, that is the foundation, and seek God in prayer. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, God's people have the privilege of communing with God in prayer, the confidence of drawing near to the throne of grace. Charles Spurgeon said, "The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts, and fears straight up to the throne of God." Prayer is a great privilege, nay, a great command given to God's redeemed people, and one that must not be neglected.
In a time of trouble, the psalmist recalled the command of God and resolved within himself to honor that command. Do you know Christ Jesus as your Savior? Have you turned from sin and self to the One that died and rose again? If so, seek his face this day!
Pastor Jacob Smith