Psalm 27:5 (NIV)
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling, he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
In my only visit to Sudan we came face to face with the tension that then existed between North and South Sudan. At the checkpoint crossing, the dividing line between north & south, there were three successive stops. Each one had several uniformed, rifle carrying soldiers with very stern faces and they asked many questions in an unknown language. Having an experienced driver and guide gave us a sense that we would make it through, even though the situation felt very uncomfortable.
Psalm 27 shows the psalmist to be in a life-threatening situation. Terrible things were happening all around him, yet his request is to simply dwell with God and enjoy the beauty of the Lord. After expressing that desire, the psalm continues to assure the reader that God will provide the best protection: shelter, safety and a view of the surrounding area.
It is interesting to see the wording of verse 5. The psalmist writes that he will be hidden in the shelter of God’s sacred tent and at the same time to be set high upon a rock. Those seem like contradictory positions. One is to conceal and keep safe the other is to be exposed to the open and seemingly vulnerable. In this situation God gives the gift of perspective. Being high on a rock one can see approaching danger and is not caught off guard. At the same time God provides shelter to make the psalmist less vulnerable to his enemies.
We may be somewhat vulnerable, but we do have medical and scientific experts guiding our decisions, so we are less vulnerable. Greater than that, however, is the reality that we have God on our side who will hide us in his sacred tent. Take heart, God is on your side and he will protect you. Desire to dwell with God and rest in the beauty of the Lord.
While our circumstances may not change, it is possible for God to put our feet on solid ground so that even while danger surrounds us, our perspective is grounded and firm. In that place we can “Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Lord keep in the shelter of your sacred tent and set my feel high on the rock, Jesus. Allow me to be strong in Jesus and wait upon him. Amen