Psalms 27

A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.

1 The LORD is my 1light and my 2salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the 3defense of my life; 4Whom shall I dread?
2 When evildoers came upon me to 5devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they 6stumbled and fell.
3 Though a 7host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be 8confident.
4 9One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may 10dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold 11the beauty of the LORD And to 12meditate in His temple.
5 For in the 13day of trouble He will 14conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will 15hide me; He will 16lift me up on a rock.
6 And now 17my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent 18sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will 19sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7 20Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and 21answer me.
8 When You said, "22Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, 23I shall seek."
9 24Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in 25anger; You have been 26my help; 27Do not abandon me nor 28forsake me, O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and 29my mother have forsaken me, But 30the LORD will take me up.
11 31Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a 32level path Because of my foes.
12 Do not deliver me over to the 33desire of my adversaries, For 34false witnesses have risen against me, And such as 35breathe out violence.
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the 36goodness of the LORD In the 37land of the living.
14 38Wait for the LORD; Be 39strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

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Psalms 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

The psalmist's faith. (1-6) His desire toward God, and expectation from him. (7-14)

Verses 1-6 The Lord, who is the believer's light, is the strength of his life; not only by whom, but in whom he lives and moves. In God let us strengthen ourselves. The gracious presence of God, his power, his promise, his readiness to hear prayer, the witness of his Spirit in the hearts of his people; these are the secret of his tabernacle, and in these the saints find cause for that holy security and peace of mind in which they dwell at ease. The psalmist prays for constant communion with God in holy ordinances. All God's children desire to dwell in their Father's house. Not to sojourn there as a wayfaring man, to tarry but for a night; or to dwell there for a time only, as the servant that abides not in the house for ever; but to dwell there all the days of their life, as children with a father. Do we hope that the praising of God will be the blessedness of our eternity? Surely then we ought to make it the business of our time. This he had at heart more than any thing. Whatever the Christian is as to this life, he considers the favour and service of God as the one thing needful. This he desires, prays for and seeks after, and in it he rejoices.

Verses 7-14 Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, "Seek ye my face;" but we must apply it to ourselves, "I will seek it." The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favour of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God's time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Saviour, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer.

Cross References 39

  • 1. Psalms 18:28; Isaiah 60:20; Micah 7:8
  • 2. Exodus 15:2; Psalms 62:7; Psalms 118:14; Isaiah 33:2; Jonah 2:9
  • 3. Psalms 28:8
  • 4. Psalms 118:6
  • 5. Psalms 14:4
  • 6. Psalms 9:3
  • 7. Psalms 3:6
  • 8. Job 4:6
  • 9. Psalms 26:8
  • 10. Psalms 23:6
  • 11. Psalms 90:17
  • 12. Psalms 18:6
  • 13. Psalms 50:15
  • 14. Psalms 31:20
  • 15. Psalms 17:8
  • 16. Psalms 40:2
  • 17. Psalms 3:3
  • 18. Psalms 107:22
  • 19. Psalms 13:6
  • 20. Psalms 4:3; Psalms 61:1
  • 21. Psalms 13:3
  • 22. Psalms 105:4; Amos 5:6
  • 23. Psalms 34:4
  • 24. Psalms 69:17
  • 25. Psalms 6:1
  • 26. Psalms 40:17
  • 27. Psalms 94:14
  • 28. Psalms 37:28
  • 29. Isaiah 49:15
  • 30. Isaiah 40:11
  • 31. Psalms 25:4; Psalms 86:11
  • 32. Psalms 5:8; Psalms 26:12
  • 33. Psalms 41:2
  • 34. Deuteronomy 19:18; Psalms 35:11; Matthew 26:60
  • 35. Acts 9:1
  • 36. Psalms 31:19
  • 37. Job 28:13; Psalms 52:5; Psalms 116:9; Psalms 142:5; Isaiah 38:11; Jeremiah 11:19; Ezekiel 26:20
  • 38. Psalms 25:3; Psalms 37:34; Psalms 40:1; Psalms 62:5; Psalms 130:5; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 25:9
  • 39. Psalms 31:24

Footnotes 10

Chapter Summary


\\<<[A Psalm] of David>>\\. The Septuagint interpreters add to this title, "before he was anointed". David was anointed three times, first when a youth in his father's house; but this psalm could not be written before that time, because he had not had then any experience of war, nor could be in any immediate apprehension of it, as here suggested; he was anointed a second time, after the death of Saul at Hebron, by the men of Judah; before that time indeed he had been harassed by Saul, and distressed by the Amalekites, and was driven from the public worship of God, to which he has a respect, Ps 27:4; and he was a third time anointed, by the elders of Israel, king over all Israel; and between the death of Saul and this unction there was a war between the house of David and the house of Saul; but what is referred to is not certain, nor is it of moment, since these words are neither in the Hebrew text, nor in the Chaldee paraphrase. Theodoret is of opinion this psalm was written by David when he fled from Saul, and came to Ahimelech the priest.

Psalms 27 Commentaries

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