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Psalm 27

Psalm 27 is an exuberant declaration of faith in the midst of the time of trouble. Its theme is God's protection and deliverance during tribulation.

Throughout the month of Elul from Rosh Chodesh Elul until the 22nd day of Tishri, called Shemini Atzeret (the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles), Psalm 27 is recited once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

To recite this psalm twice daily for 50 days is no coincidence. This period of the year is both awesome and fearsome. Therefore the most optimistic of all the psalms was divinely chosen for recitation. This psalm was saturated with hope, blessedness and strength. Throughout the Psalm, we find words such as light, salvation, strength, life, not fear, confident, desired, dwell in the house of the LORD, the beauty of the LORD, secret place, smooth path, teach me, lead me, the goodness of the LORD, the land of the living, good courage, strengthen your heart. More than twenty words and phrases of declaration and proclamation in just fourteen short verses.

The presence of the LORD is evident everywhere in the midst of difficult times - His sovereign name "LORD" appears 13 times and one of His titles "God of my salvation" is used once. The name of the Lord is being used 14 times, one for every verse. He promised to be with us always till the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), through good times and bad times.

This psalm is a cry for help. It is an injunction to persevere and hold on in the face of insurmountable obstacles. A sign was put up on the gate to the ghetto during the Holocaust: Yiden-Zeit zich nisht M'yaesh- "Jews-Don't Give Up!" Thank God that they didn't give up, and God gave them back their Promised Land. The nation of Israel was born again in 1948. They would have lost heart, unless they had believed that they would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. They waited on the LORD and were of good courage, and He strengthened their hearts!

The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? This one plea alone will enable the people of God to overcome all spiritual obstacles. It is the need to become totally abiding in God, enjoying oneness with Him. Completely aligned with Him - body, soul and spirit. Not our will but His will be done. When we face serious crisis that cannot easily be resolved, we are not easily paralyzed through fear. God will strengthen our hearts, and He will bestow us with greater abilities and inner strength to hope and persevere.

It is written in Psalm 27:5, "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."

One interesting name for Rosh Hashanah is Yom HaKeseh - "The Day of the Hiding" or "the Hidden Day". The term keseh or keceh is derived from the Hebrew root kacah, which means to "conceal, cover or hide."

During the month of Elul, a trumpet is blown daily once to warn the people to return to God. But on for the thirtieth day of Elul, the day preceding Rosh Hashanah, the trumpet is not blown. They skipped one day to confuse the enemy. This day of Yom HaKeseh is concealed and shrouded in mystery.

Satan, the accuser of our brethren, is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment. Yom HaKeseh or the Day of the Hiding, is hidden from Satan. Our adversary came to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10), but God confused him with His plan of salvation by sending Jesus to die for us on the Cross. Instead of a seeming defeat, God brought forth the ultimate victory by resurrecting Jesus from the death. The plan was concealed from Satan. Similarly about the day of the Lord, nobody except the Father knows. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Matthew 24:36) Rosh Hashanah is the only day in the whole year that was referred to as the hidden day or the day that no man knew.

Note that the month of Elul has only 29 days but it has two days of Rosh Chodesh Elul. The first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul happens to be the 30th of Av, the previous month.

Month of Av Month of Elul
1st-29th 30th 1st 2nd-29th
Rosh Chodesh Elul (2 days)

This is the grace of God. The Jewish month has either 29 or 30 days. The month having 30 days will share half a day with the month having 29 days. The Jewish year has 354 days by multiplying 29.5 days by 12 months. Every three years, there will be an extra month added.