It just so happens that during the last few weeks I have been reading through Psalm 27. This is mainly a result of picking up the book A Shelter in the Time of Storm, by Paul Tripp. It seriously amazes me how the Lord provides His Word often to prepare us for and sustain us through trying times. Go figure. Our God is. Our God is a shield.
As I was reading through this Psalm today I was struck by the dual perspective of the final four verses. We find here encouragement for now and hope for what the future holds.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
English Standard Version
Because of what we face (enemies and adversaries) we are in need of wisdom and instruction in the here and now. Simply put, we need Him. We need to constantly be reminded of who God is and what His ways are at all times. What we have modeled here is that we need to ask for this. We need to ask that we would see Him, that we would follow His leading, that He would keep us from turning away or being given up to our enemy’s will.
We are not led here to ask the Lord to take our enemies away…but rather for the truth needed to be sustained and to persevere. We need Him so that we can survive and remain faithful.
We are then given a second part of reality. We readily see the need for God in the here and now, but we are not left without hope for what is in the future. The writer declares…My foes and false witnesses are against me now, and the truth of God is with me, but I know and I believe that there will come a time when it won’t be so.
One day we will look upon the goodness of the Lord. When all death…all sin has been finally destroyed…we shall stand in the land of the living and we will see Him. We wait for this day with the greatest anticipation. We have his sustaining Grace…and we have the promise of His future Grace. Indeed, I think the second is greater than the first.
We hear this same theme repeated by the Apostle Paul in his final words:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 ESV
God sustains us and allows us to be poured out for His Glory, but what is always before our eyes and longed for in our hearts is the day that we shall finally see Him. The righteousness that we know now in small measure will be complete when we are in His presence.
Imagine that day. The mere glimpse of Him is what regenerated us to new life. If that was the new birth, what will it be like when we see Him in all His splendor? What a day of rejoicing that will be. What a victory to celebrate!
So we must ask for His way to lead us through the valleys and pits…but our eyes must be always fixed on the light of the celestial city. We are where we are…but friends…we can see where we are going.
Thus, this is the Already and Not-Yet amazing Grace of God.