Psalm 27

The Lord is my Light; whom do I need to fear?
An upbeat psalm for times of trouble: # 1-6 assurance, # 7-12 call for help, # 13, 14 conclusion.
1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David.>> The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?   Light The Lord helps us understand the way we should go ps119104, jn0107, 1jn0105.
  Salvation See ps01802, ps06202, 1co0130.
  Strength Literally "a place of safety."
  Notice the structure of the verse, two parallel lines.
 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.   Eat up Not a bad description of those who would destroy other people. Also ps02212.
 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.   Encamp Or "camp." Contrast ps03407.
.4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.   Desired ... seek after David was seeking the most precious gift. So may we.
  House of the Lord Notice that "temple" is also used. "House" may here mean "family." See 1sa2016, 2sa0306.
.5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.   Time of trouble ... hide He may have been thinking of his own protection against Saul but I believe the Holy Spirit often directed his words as in ps022. At or just before the appearance of Christ in glory, will be a terrible time of trouble from which the saved ones will be shielded as mentioned in da1201. Isaiah confirms the idea is2620. Also ps091 describes the protection.
  Pavilion Hebrew sok, Here meaning "hiding place." See the word "covert" in ps01009, je2538. Sok is "tabernacle" in ps07602. The word is figurative in our present verse because the temple in Jerusalem had not yet been built. Consider ps09101.
  Set me ... rock David adds this to the picture. Setting on a rock isn't like being hidden. It would be reasonable to assume that the exaltation on a rock would come at the end of the time of trouble.
 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.    Joy From teru'ah. The same word appears for the "shout" at the time the walls of Jericho fell so we may see triumph implied jos0620. Also nu2321, 2sa0615, ps15005.
  Tabernacle We assume the secret tabernacle seen in v5.
 7 ¶ Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 
 9a Hide not thy face far from me;
  Seek my face Notice the communication between the Lord and David. This may be our prayer, to know our Lord in an ever closer relationship. Compare nu0625.
 9b put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
  Take me up From asaph which means "to gather." David may have pictured himself as a small child whose parent (representing the Lord) picked him up and held him. Also see asaph as a reception of people jos2004, jg1915.
.11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 
.12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
  Will From nephesh which generally means "soul" as  in ps01610. The connection is seen by considering the will to be a person's desire which is the driving force of the soul. David's enemies wanted to kill him. He prayed that their desire not be fulfilled.
.13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
.14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
  Land of the living Implying that there is a land of the dead. The term, "land of the living," appears in ez3227. It is in a "lament" which uses figurative language. Read text and comments beginning at ez3218. "Land of the dead" is not mentioned although it is implied. We may interpret the symbols seeing that the descent into that land (the nether world) represents the eternal loss of the souls involved and not a place where conscious people live. Furthermore there is no evidence that punishment is involved. For links to discussion in this commentary of what happens at death, go.
Another psalm
Commentary home
Contact & more info