As we read the words of this psalm, we see the imagery of battle being portrayed in these verses. Words like “enemies” and “foes” in verse 2, “host” and “war” in verse 3, and “enemies” in verse 6 all speak of warfare. Phrases like “though an host encamp against me” and “though war should rise against me” in verse 3 speak of a battle being waged against David. It appears that he is in a difficult situation. Yet, it is also very clear from reading these verses that even during the battles he is fighting, David still has hope.
Now, I know you have battles, but, do you have hope? Are you resting in the sure confidence that God will do what He has promised? That is the essence of hope, and hope is a possession we all need to own in large quantities.
I. OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE (VERSES 1-3)
David begins his psalm of hope by declaring his personal faith in the Lord. Notice the threefold use of the word “my” in verse 1. David has a personal relationship with God. This is the basic foundation for hope.
A. Confidence in the person of the Lord (verse 1). David tells us that God is his “light,” his “salvation,” and his “strength.” There is a tremendous blessing in these three titles attributed to our God.
1. As light, God delivers His people from darkness (Col. 1:13) and guides our steps (Ps. 37:23; 119:105; John 16:13).
2. As salvation, God delivers His people from damnation (John 5:24) and secures our souls (John 10:28; 1 Pet. 1:5; John 6:37).
3. As strength, God delivers His people from defeat (1 Cor. 15:57) and guarantees our success (Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14; Isa. 54:17). These three great characteristics of God serve to give us hope even in the midst of battle!
B. Confidence in the performance of the Lord (verses 2, 3). David declares that his present hope in the Lord rests upon what the Lord has done for him in the past. God did not fail him then, and He will not fail His child today.
That same confidence is ours today! The God we serve is unchangeable (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). He is the same God He has always been and has the same power He has always had.
II. OUR COMMITMENT TO THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE (VERSE 4)
Not only does living with our faith give us hope; living faithful to the Lord provides a measure of hope that cannot otherwise exist. David mentions three goals in this verse. These three goals all arise from a single commitment to serve the Lord faithfully from a heart of love.
A. He is committed to lingering near the Lord. David wants to spend his entire life in the house of the Lord. He wants to be in that place where the Lord dwells and where the Lord’s presence is real. This is a theme David repeats in Psalm 84:1-4.
B. He is committed to loving the Lord. David wants to “behold the beauty of the Lord.” That is, he wants to “seek His face.” You see, not only is David committed to being where the Lord is; he is also committed to worshiping the Lord. That is a worthy goal for life!
C. He is committed to leaning on the Lord. David also expresses his desire to call upon the Lord, to commune with God, and to make requests of Him. This is another image of worship. Here David declares his utter dependence upon the Lord for the necessities of life.
III. OUR COMFORT IN THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE (VERSES 5, 6)
A. God has a sheltered place for us (verse 5). David tells us that the Lord will hide him in His pavilion. A king’s pavilion was a tent that was erected in the middle of the military encampment. The tent was then surrounded by an army of brave soldiers. With all the host of the army camped about, the king’s pavilion was the safest place on the battlefield.
As the battles of life rage about us, we are safely tucked away in our King’s pavilion. The Bible tells us that “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3)! Could there be a safer place in all the universe? Of course not!
B. God has a secret place for us (verse 5). The word “tabernacle” recalls the place of worship. The “secret” refers to the “holy of holies.” That place was off limits to all but the High Priest, and he could enter there only one day each year and only with the blood of an innocent sacrifice. It was a place that other men entered under penalty of death.
Yet, it is that secret place to which God takes His precious friends. The Holy of Holies was a place where the presence of God dwelt and the glory of God could be seen. It was there that God took David during the battles of his life.
In a king’s home, this place is referred to as the private apartment of the king. It was a place no one could enter unless he or she did so at the king’s bidding. To do otherwise invited instant death.
It is amazing that, in a world filled with people, there is a place of solitude. There is a place to which you and I can flee during the crushing battles that rage about us. This place affords us quiet, peace, and the profound presence of God. Have you ever been to that place?
C. God has a secure place for us (verses 5, 6). David has the assurance that even when life threatens to overwhelm him, the Lord will set him on a rock, a place that is unchangeable, powerful, and immovable. Of course, this Rock is none other than the Lord Himself (Ps. 40:1, 2).
D. God has a special place for us (verse 6). David says that he will worship the Lord and praise the Lord because of the things the Lord has done for him. Because the Lord has lifted him above the battles, because the Lord has hidden him away in the secret place, because the Lord sheltered him away from the terrors of the battles, he will praise His name!
Are you fighting some battles today? Of course you are! But, in the midst of your battles, do you have hope? Do you have the deep, settled confidence that everything is going to be all right? If you do, praise the Lord, for He has already brought you to that special place of blessing from which you can offer praise to His name.
But, if you lack that hope, it can be obtained. How? You can do this by reaffirming your confidence in the Lord, by renewing your commitment to the Lord, and by resting your comfort in the Lord. Get that hope today!