June 2019   
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Psalm 27 - Why Are You So Downcast?

“Why Are You So Downcast?”


Psalm 27:6 – “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.”


Psalm 27 is definitely a song of King David, perhaps it was even the song that he sung to himself as he was faced with many lonely nights in the midst of overwhelming circumstances.  We are not told exactly what is going on as David writes these words but we get a glimpse from the content of the Psalm itself and as we read it, it more than likely was written when David was under accusation from Doeg the Edomite. 


It was during that time that he was on the run, being pursued by his enemies, and unable to get to the house of God.  It was truly a miserable time in David’s life, at least outwardly.  This psalm however is anything but miserable and downcast, in fact it is upbeat and hopeful.  Charles Spurgeon describes it as a “song of cheerful hope”, and truly it is.


David had every reason to be down and dejected.  Depression would have been normal, and in fact at some point David does feel down.  Yet in verse 6 with a shout of triumph he proclaims that “his head will be lifted up.”  He proclaims it with certainty but how does he know it for sure.  His certainty and his assurance comes from the fact that even in the midst of all that he is going through, he is relying on God and trusting in God and because of that he knows that God would lift up his head.  After all David knew that God had promised to never leave him or forsake him, David knew that God has told him to “fear not”, and because of that David was trusting in the promises of God knowing with certainty that God was going to lift up his head.  David is living by faith for that is what the writer of Hebrews tells us that faith really is, “it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  David knew that God was going to lift up his head and his shout of victory in verse 6 is the evidence of that.  He was living in faith.


Faith is not ignoring reality but accepting it, knowing that God is working in the midst of it.  David’s reality is that the world is closing in on him.  His head is in reality drooping down but he believes and he trusts that even in the midst of it, God is going to bring about a change. God is going to make a difference.


Why is David’s head so downcast?  William Gurnall says that there is only two reasons why a person’s head would droop, fear and shame (living in our culture we can add tiredness to that can’t we?).  David is fearful because of the circumstances that he is in.  He is shameful perhaps because of his past sins, and certainly he is tired.  In the midst of it though he says, “my head will be lifted up.”  He is trusting that God is going to lift up his head even in the middle of his sorrows and agony. 


Can we identify with David? Of course we can.  Is Gurnall right? Of course he is, especially is you add tiredness into the equation.  Our heads droop down because of fear.  We don’t know what the future holds and it wears us down.  That is certainly the case in 2013 and our rapidly changing culture.  We are fearful and that fear takes a toll on us.  Whether it is from worrying about tomorrow, worrying about our children, worrying about ourselves, or worrying about something else.  When we get fearful, it brings us down.


Our shame brings us down as well.  Failure sometimes hits us squarely between the eyes and our enemy the devil is right there accusing us all the more.  That is why Scripture identifies him as the “accuser of the brethren”.  He loves to heap guilt on us, to make us feel worthless, to make us feel unloved, to make us feel that God certainly couldn’t use a sinner like us.  Yet Scripture proclaims that we are both saints and sinners simultaneously.  We still sin, but positionally we have been changed and because we are “in Christ” we are now considered to be saints as well.  The devil may want to accuse us, but if we are followers of Jesus Christ, there is nothing to accuse before Almighty God.  So lift up your head.


Let God lift up your head in the midst of your worry and fear.  Hear Him say again, “fear not for I am with you.”  Taste the sweetness of the promise, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”  A promise that He can make and keep because of what Jesus did on the cross.  His head drooped down because He became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He uttered, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me.”  It was one of the worst moments in the history of the world, and yet God works something just beautiful out of it, our salvation.  Because He was forsaken we will never have to be.  So lift up your head.


Lift up your head because your sins and taken away.  Lift up your head because now you are a child of God.  Lift up your head because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Lift up your head because you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. 


Lift up your head even in the midst of your tiredness.  For God is with you and He beckons, “come unto me all you who are weak and wore out (my paraphrase) and I will give you rest.”  We can find rest in the arms of God.  We can wait on Him, cling to Him, and as Isaiah reminds us “have our strength renewed like the eagles so that we will run and not grow weary, and so that we will walk and not faint.”  Lift up your head and declare forth His praises, because of what He has done for you.  To God be the glory!