Advent Psalm Reflection: Psalm 27—Embracing Divine Sanctuary (Pt. 2 of 3)

Advent Psalm reading for December 11, 12, & 13: Psalm 27.

In the first installment, I reflect on the entire Psalm 27 reading. Today, I will look more closely at one of the accompanying liturgical readings in Isaiah 26. Both Psalm 27 and Isaiah 26 express unwavering trust in the strength of divine presence, a yearning for intimacy with God, and an appeal to divine justice as a source of comfort and peace.

An Ancient Search for Refuge

The ancient Israelites faced many challenges in the time these scriptures were composed. Unlike the powerful Western nations that lay claim to the scriptures in today’s world, the ancient composers of scripture were a minority people group in their world. They were small and powerless against the ruling, more powerful nations surrounding them. As a people vulnerable to being manipulated, taken advantage of, or flat-out squished under the occupation of other nations, the ancient Israelites sought refuge in their faith.

Exploring the Connection: Psalm 27 and Isaiah 26

In Psalm 27, we read a profound commitment to seeking God’s presence. Isaiah 26 carries a similar message as the prophet declares his desire for intimate awareness of the divine presence so that the world may be set right. Starting with Isaiah 26:7, we read the prophet’s praise for the way of righteousness that lights the path of those who walk in divine justice.

The path is level for the righteous;
O Just One, You make smooth the course of the righteous. 

For Your just ways, O ETERNAL One, we look to You;
We long for the name by which You are called.
 (Isaiah 26:7-8)

The prophet continues with a prayer of longing for God’s presence that echoes the psalmist’s sentiment, “One thing I ask of the LORD, only that do I seek: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD, to frequent His temple.” (Psalm 27)

At night, I yearn for You with all my being,
I seek You with all the spirit within me. 
For when Your judgments are wrought on earth,
The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
(Isaiah 26:9)

Finding Contemporary Relevance: Faith Amidst Global Conflict

This Advent season is fraught with neverending news of war, a striking juxtaposition to the seasonal message of peace. In this season of loss and destruction, I am inclined to call upon divine presence with the kind of faith felt by the prophets and the psalmists in the ancient world, a faith that believes in compassionate justice.

As we reflect on Psalm 27 and Isaiah 26 during this Advent season, amidst a world still grappling with conflict and uncertainty, we are reminded of the timeless nature of these ancient texts. They speak to us across centuries, echoing a profound longing for divine presence, justice, and peace that transcends all eras and circumstances. The deep yearning for God’s presence and righteous path offers us a guiding light in our journey. The scriptures remind us that in times of turmoil, our refuge and strength lie in seeking and trusting God.

As we journey through this Advent, let us carry the spirit of these ancient prayers. May their words inspire us to seek loving relationships, yearn for justice and righteousness in our world, and find peace in God’s abiding presence. In a world that often feels overwhelming, we are called to trust in the strength of divine presence. May the enduring messages of Psalm 27 and Isaiah 26 guide us through this Advent and beyond as we seek the sacred path of righteousness and peace.

Coming Up on An Advent Psalm Reflection

In the third part of this installment, I will continue to explore Psalm 27 in light of other liturgical readings to reflect on themes of Advent.

This entire series and a link to the liturgical readings on the Advent Psalm Reflections page.

*The translations are JPS from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *