Psalms 27

Of David.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and 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 35

  • 1. S 2 Samuel 22:29; Isaiah 60:19
  • 2. S Exodus 15:2; S Psalms 3:8
  • 3. Psalms 9:9
  • 4. S Job 13:15; Psalms 56:4,11; Psalms 118:6
  • 5. Psalms 9:3; Psalms 14:4; S Psalms 20:8; Psalms 37:24; Daniel 11:19; Romans 11:11
  • 6. S Genesis 4:7; S Psalms 3:6
  • 7. S Job 4:6
  • 8. Luke 10:42; Psalms 90:17
  • 9. Psalms 23:6; Psalms 26:8; Psalms 61:4
  • 10. S Job 38:23
  • 11. S Psalms 12:7
  • 12. S Psalms 17:8; Psalms 31:20
  • 13. Psalms 40:2
  • 14. 2 Samuel 22:49; Psalms 3:3; Psalms 18:48
  • 15. S Psalms 22:12
  • 16. Psalms 50:14; Psalms 54:6; Psalms 107:22; Psalms 116:17
  • 17. S Ezra 3:13; S Job 22:26
  • 18. S Exodus 15:1
  • 19. Psalms 33:2; Psalms 92:1; Psalms 147:7; S Ephesians 5:19
  • 20. Psalms 5:3; Psalms 18:6; Psalms 55:17; Psalms 119:149; Psalms 130:2; Isaiah 28:23
  • 21. S Psalms 4:1; Psalms 13:3
  • 22. S 1 Chronicles 16:11
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 31:17; S Psalms 22:24; Psalms 69:17
  • 24. S Psalms 2:5
  • 25. S Genesis 49:25; S Deuteronomy 33:29
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 119:8; Isaiah 41:17; Isaiah 62:12; Jeremiah 14:9
  • 27. Psalms 18:46
  • 28. S Exodus 33:13
  • 29. S Ezra 8:21; Psalms 5:8; Psalms 25:4; Psalms 86:11
  • 30. Psalms 72:4; Psalms 78:42; Psalms 106:10; Jeremiah 21:12
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 19:16; S Matthew 26:60; Acts 6:13; 1 Corinthians 15:15; Acts 9:1
  • 32. Exodus 33:19; S 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalms 23:6; Psalms 31:19; Psalms 145:7
  • 33. S Job 28:13; Jeremiah 11:19; Ezekiel 26:20
  • 34. Psalms 33:20; Psalms 130:5,6; Isaiah 8:17; Isaiah 30:18; Habakkuk 2:3; Zephaniah 3:8; Acts 1:4; Psalms 40:1
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 1:21; S Judges 5:21; S Ephesians 6:10

Footnotes 1

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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