PSALM 27#Tradition has handed down the two sections of the Psalm (Ps 27:1–6; 7–14) as one Psalm, though each part could be understood as complete in itself. Asserting boundless hope that God will bring rescue (Ps 27:1–3), the psalmist longs for the presence of God in the Temple, protection from all enemies (Ps 27:4–6). In part B there is a clear shift in tone (Ps 27:7–12); the climax of the poem comes with “I believe” (Ps 27:13), echoing “I trust” (Ps 27:3).
Trust in God
1#a. [27:1] Ps 18:29; 36:10; 43:3; Is 10:17; Mi 7:8.Of David.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
2When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,#To devour my flesh: the psalmist’s enemies are rapacious beasts (Ps 7:3; 17:12; 22:14, 17).#b. [27:2] Ps 14:4.
These my enemies and foes
themselves stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me,
my heart does not fear;
Though war be waged against me,
even then do I trust.
4One thing I ask of the Lord;
this I seek:
To dwell in the Lord’s house
all the days of my life,
To gaze on the Lord’s beauty,
to visit his temple.#c. [27:4] Ps 23:6; 61:5.
5For God will hide me in his shelter
in time of trouble,#d. [27:5] Ps 31:21.
He will conceal me in the cover of his tent;
and set me high upon a rock.
6Even now my head is held high
above my enemies on every side!
I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and chant praise to the Lord.
7Hear my voice, Lord, when I call;
have mercy on me and answer me.
8“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;#Seek his face: to commune with God in the Temple. The idiom is derived from the practice of journeying to sacred places, cf. Hos 5:15; 2 Sm 21:1; Ps 24:6.
your face, Lord, do I seek!#e. [27:8] Ps 24:6; Hos 5:15.
9Do not hide your face from me;
do not repel your servant in anger.
You are my salvation; do not cast me off;
do not forsake me, God my savior!
10Even if my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will take me in.#f. [27:10] Is 49:15.
11Lord, show me your way;
lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.#g. [27:11] Ps 25:4; 86:11.
12Do not abandon me to the desire of my foes;
malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me.
13I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.#In the land of the living: or “in the land of life,” an epithet of the Jerusalem Temple (Ps 52:7; 116:9; Is 38:11), where the faithful had access to the life-giving presence of God.#h. [27:13] Ps 116:9; Is 38:11.
14Wait for the Lord, take courage;
be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!