THE ASSURANCES OF THE SECRET PLACE
Psalm 27:1-5 (NKJV)
An Exuberant Declaration of Faith
A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
4 One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
A True Story – An auction was placed on E-bay, the Internet auction site on November 15, 2002. This auction advertises God for sale. The copy reads, “I am selling God. God comes in a box, you may or may not be able to see Him in he box, but He’s there, trust me. Have faith! God is best used within six days, and He requires one day off per week. He is good at performing miracles, creating existence and other such time consuming tasks. Once you own God, you will question how you ever lived without Him. Shipping for God is US $2.00 and He will come in a standard cardboard box with no air holes because He is immortal/omnipotent. Some settling may occur. Happy bidding.”
Now, as if this weren’t strange enough, there were 44 people who bid on this E-Bay auction. The first bid was for $0.01, the highest bid recorded was $99,999,999.00. In case you are interested in bidding yourself, this auction will not close until about 9 PM November 22, 2002.
Something like that is foolish, it may even be blasphemy. However, the person who posted the auction does make an insightful statement. He said, “Once you own God, you will question how you ever lived without Him.” While the person posted this auction as a joke, the reality is no laughing matter! When you are in a personal relationship with God, everything in your life is altered for the better.
When you lack this relationship with God, your life certainly suffers because of it. By the way, this relationship does not come about through outbidding someone on in an auction. It comes through embracing Jesus Christ by faith. Those who had trusted JESUS are in that personal relationship with God.
In this Psalm, David relates the fact that he knows that he possesses the Lord already by faith :
v. 1. This knowledge gave David much reassurance as he faced the various battles of life. He speaks of past victories the Lord had given him,
v. 2. He speaks of his faith of future victories in Him,
v. 3. David knew that, in his life, the only safe place in the world was to be in a place close to God,
v. 4. He wanted to be in a place where he could see God, speak to God and to worship God. This was the all-consuming desire of his heart.
When a believer abides (ABIDES) in that precious place close to the Lord, he/she who abides possesses some blessed assurances that the rest of the world knows nothing about.
In these days, that is the kind of assurance we need as we fight the battles of life with the world, the flesh and the devil. For, even when life is at its best and running smoothly, we are still in the midst of perilous times, 2 Tim. 3:1.
If you will abide, and that is the key word here, for those who abide enjoy God’s best, are those who abide in the secret place with Him, John 15:5, there are certain assurances that you can enjoy. Allow me to share them with you this evening.
I. THERE IS THE ASSURANCE OF PERSONAL GUIDANCE
A. Please note the personal pronouns related to the activity of God in the believer’s life. “He will hide me in His pavilion”; “in the secret place of His tabernacle will He hide me”; “He shall set me upon a rock”. There are two things to notice about the activity going on in this verse:
1. It is a Personal Activity – This is something God does of His own will on behalf of the believer.
2. It is a Passive Activity – The believer is required to do nothing but be in a close relationship to the Lord. These things are done by the Lord for His child.
B. The message here is simply this: the Lord is intensely interested in what is happening in your life and mine! We are reminded that He is touched with the feeling of our human infirmities and limitations, Heb. 4:15. His eyes are on every detail of life, Heb. 4:13. The Lord is ever present, Heb. 13:5. May we also remember to look back over the landscape of our pasts and see where the Lord has moved our mountains, filled in our valleys, and made a straight path for our feet. Praise God for the fact that He is intimately involved in the details of every one of our lives! Amen!
C. You and I may not understand the leadership of the Lord in our lives, but I can assure you, that if you are His, then He is working in your life day by day. He is guiding your steps, Psa. 37:23; Pro. 16:9. It may seemed like life is out of control, and it is out of your control, but it is never out of His! In the end, you will end up exactly where you are supposed to be! (Note: You are precious to Him!)
II. THERE IS THE ASSURANCE OF POWERFUL GUARDIANSHIP
A. David tells us that the Lord will hide him in His pavilion. A king’s pavilion was a tent that erected in the middle of the army’s encampment. The tent was thus surrounded by a army of brave soldiers. With all the host of the army camped about, this was the safest place on the battlefield. Those who were fortunate enough to be allowed to enter the king’s pavilion were protected by the soldiers and entertained by the king during the battle! (Note: The word “hide” means “to treasure away.”)
B. 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! Those who have entered His pavilion are protected by Him and, even while the battles rage around them, they are entertained with the peace and joy of the King Himself. This is a promise to those who will abide in that close place! No enemy could penetrate the defenses and enter this private place. It is protected from the enemy!
1. We have a place to exchange our trouble for His peace, 1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7.
2. We have a place to find joy, even during the most troublesome times, 1 Pet. 1:8.
3. Notice the great promise of John 15:11 for those who will abide close to Him!
C. The assurance of His powerful guardianship allows us to weather the storms of life with confidence and victory. This was what allowed David to face the giant Philistine Goliath. This was the confidence that kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (3 Hebrew children) safe in the fiery furnace. This was the assurance that gripped the heart of Daniel in the lion’s den! This was the knowledge that allowed Paul to continue his mission in life, even when he suffered greatly, 2 Cor. 12:7-11.
The same assurance these men had as they faced life is the same assurance we have as we face each day. The Lord still hides us away in His pavilion to provide safety and joy, even during the battles! He puts us in a place where the enemy cannot approach us. The enemies of life may snarl and threaten, but they are powerless to reach us when we are sheltered by the Lord!
III. THERE IS THE ASSURANCE OF PROFOUND GLORY
A. The word “tabernacle” brings to mind the place of worship. The “secret place” refers to the “holy of holies”. That place which was off limits to all but the High Priest, and he could only enter there one day per year, and the only with the blood of an innocent sacrifice. It was a place that other men entered under the 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 very 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. It was there David found himself shut up with God and shut off from the world around him. In a king’s home, this place referred to the private apartment of the king where no one could enter unless they did so at his bidding. (Note: The word “hide” means “to conceal”.)
B. It is amazing that there is a place of solitude in a world filled with people. There is a place that you and I can flee to during the crushing battles that rages about us. A place that affords us quiet, peace and the profound presence of God. Those who have learned to abide in Him have been to that place and know the glory of it. It is a place where the enemy dares not follow. It is a place reserved for those who love the Lord their God. Have you ever been to that place? That place where God meets with you and you alone. That place where all else falls away and you are left with Him and Him alone? That is the place He invites those who abide to enter!
C. Stephen was in that place at the moment of his death, Acts 7:55-56! Paul was in that place during his life, 2 Cor. 12:1-4; Acts 27:23. It is possible for us to enter that sacred, secret place where the world dims away and God becomes larger than everything else! Amen!
IV. THERE IS THE ASSURANCE OF PRECIOUS GRACE
A. David has the assurance that even when life threatens to overflow him, the Lord will set him on a rock, a place that is unchangeable, powerful and immovable. Of course, this Rock he refers to is none other than the Lord Himself, Psa. 40:1-2. The rock referred to in these verses is a “great craggy rock”. It is a rock that juts far above the battles going on at its feet. It allows those who ride its heights to rise far above the tumult beneath!
B. This is the portion of all those who know Him! We are promised that we have a place of refuge that will lift us far above the stormy seas that would threaten to drown us. Like the eagle, who takes refuge above the storm until it has passed. Those who abide in Him are given grace that bears them higher than the storms and keeps them safe until danger has passed, Isa. 40:31. Those who wish to rise above their circumstances are given wings to do so!
C. Thank God for His matchless, marvelous, wonderful grace that allows every believer in Christ to weather the storms! His grace is sufficient to carry us far above the attacks of all the enemies we face in life and His grace allows some to soar while others are defeated by the same circumstances! What makes the difference? His grace! 2 Cor. 12:9 holds the answer to you overcoming what threatens to destroy you this evening! The answer is His grace! His GRACE is sufficient for us!
I want to abide in that secret place this evening! Why? Because I need help this evening! I need a protector. I need a provider! I need someone to put me in a place of safety, where I can see Him and experience His grace and glory.
I praise His name that I can have that kind of relationship with Him tonight! I don’t have to outbid anyone, I just have to rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and abide in Him!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!