Yesterday I referred to a parable that has bearing on this psalm. At this point it is hard not to think of another thing Jesus said. At the beginning of his ministry Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He spent forty days fasting and praying, and at the end of that time he was hungry. Satan came to him with the suggestion that he use his divine powers to turn some of the stones that were lying around him into bread. "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread,” Satan said (Matt. 4:3). Jesus' reply was a citation from the book of Deuteronomy: "It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (v. 4; cf. Deut. 8:3).

At the end of the last study I wrote about waiting for the Lord, which is where Psalm 27 ends and what we must learn to do better, since God does not usually respond to prayer according to our timetable. We do not expect to have to wait for God forever, of course. But what should we do while we are waiting? The answer is that we need to keep praying, to persevere in prayer. Significantly, this is the point to which Psalm 28 takes us. It is about importunity.

2. We seek to be heard. Sometimes children talk to us only because they want to be listened to, not really caring what we say in response, and unfortunately many parents are too busy to listen. Is God ever too busy to listen when we speak to him? Never! Why don't we do it more often then? The reason is that we are too busy, not God. Or perhaps the reason is our sin or unbelief. Perhaps we do not really believe that God is a true listening parent, a parent who says: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7).

The latter half of Psalm 27 begins with verse 7, as I pointed out earlier, and it is here that we find the abrupt change of language, structure and tone I also mentioned. The verbs change from the first or third person to the second. The earlier affirmations become prayers. The mood changes from confidence to earnest entreaty.

The second stanza of the psalm (vv. 4-6) expresses David's one great desire, which is to "dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of his life" (v. 4). This sounds a great deal like Psalm 23, which ends with David dwelling "in the house of the LORD forever." But there it has to do with heaven, while here, in Psalm 27, the reference is to the earthly tabernacle. Indeed, David seems to be ransacking the Hebrew language for nouns to describe it: "the house of the LORD" (v.4), "his temple" (v. 4), "his dwelling" (v. 5), "his tabernacle” (vv. 5, 6).