Here we are in the month of Elul, when we seek the King and repent of our sins. During this month we also blow the shofar every day and read Psalm 27. As you read this Psalm, have you noticed that much of it is focused on enemies? We all deal with enemies. Enemies can come in many forms. Of course, there is the enemy on the battlefield of war that can wound and kill. Then there are unhealthy habits like drugs or alcohol – real enemies. Or enemies can be subtle, like unhealthy thought patterns. Other enemies are stealthy, as in times when someone may be speaking evil speech against you and behind your back, in order to make themselves look good. This particular enemy is of great danger, as lashon hara is said to murder three people – the one doing the evil speech, the one being talked about, and the one hearing the evil report. Lashon hara also divides the brethren. If we think about it, murder and division are two things we are told specifically not to do. In life we will have enemies, and they can come in many packages.
The Psalmist, David, then lifts our eyes from enemies, to the Lord, our Hope and our Salvation, recognizing that if we focus on our enemies, it can consume us. He reminds us of the necessary thing we need to do, which is to have our heart’s desire set on dwelling in His house. Maybe we ask ourselves, how much time do we spend gazing on His beauty, seeking Him, singing and making music to Him, and setting our hearts to seek His face? When we have re-focused our attention onto the Lord, the Psalmist then prays Psalm 27:12 “Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.”
If the urgency of the enemy is distracting us from focusing on the sureness of the Almighty, we can make the choice to shift our focus. The minefields of life do not have to distract us from setting our minds on Him. Then we can say with the Psalmist:
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13,14