God offers help for today and hope for the future. Unwavering confidence in God is our antidote for fear and loneliness.
According to the title of Psalm 27, as recorded in the Septuagint, David wrote it “before he was anointed.” So this means it was probably written when he was exiled from home and being hunted down by King Saul and his men.
But despite this challenging and dangerous situation, David was confident (v. 3), courageous (v. 14), and unafraid (v. 1). In this psalm, David teaches us that when we know the Lord and trust Him, He helps us overcome the fears that can paralyze our lives.
Adonai is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers assailed me to devour my flesh, my adversaries, and foes, they stumbled and fell. If an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if war breaks out against me, even then I will keep trusting.
The Psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face. Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real.
David didn’t close his eyes to the circumstances around him; instead, he looked by faith to the Lord and examined his situation from heaven’s point of view (Heb. 12:1–3). The Lord was everything he needed just as He is everything we need today. He is our light, so we need not fear because of darkness.
Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us and ultimately imprisons us within ourselves. Everyone has been a prisoner of anxiety at one time or another—fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainty, sickness, or even death.
But we can conquer fear by trusting in the Lord, who brings salvation. If we want to dispel the darkness of terror, let us remember with the psalm writer “the LORD is my light and my salvation.” The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.
Furthermore, God was his salvation, meaning he was the one who delivered him from harm. Additionally, David knew God was the stronghold of his life (“a strongly fortified place”), the sure defense of his life.
Therefore, he need not fear, or be afraid, of anyone. This personal relationship with God is emphasized by the threefold repetition of the word, my. Even when evil men, enemies, and foes attacked David, and although an army besieged him in war, he remained confident of God’s protective defense.
Psalm 27:4 CJB
Just one thing have I asked of Adonai; only this will I seek: to live in the house of Adonai all the days of my life, to see the beauty of Adonai and visit in his temple.
David only wished to be always like a child at home — live in God’s house —no temporal structure. But wherever David was he wanted to feel that he was near to God — that all places were the mansions of the great Father so that he might always have his eye fixed upon the beauty of the Lord, and his ear continually open to listening to the voice of the Lord.
Ah if we can once get ourselves wholly given up to God, it will take our thoughts off the various oppositions we can meet with, and we shall no more be afraid.
Psalm 27:5-6 CJB
For he will conceal me in his shelter on the day of trouble, he will hide me in the folds of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. Then my head will be lifted up above my surrounding foes, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, sing praises to Adonai.
It is a blessed resolution, not always easily carried out, but still, it ought to be. Our life ought to be singing. It used to be sinning: now it ought to be singing since the sin has been put away. Oh, happy are the men that know their God. If the whole world lye full of storms, yet may they rest in peace. Get near to God: acquaint yourself with him, and be at peace. The remedy for all trouble is dwelling near to God.
Psalm 27: 7-8 CJB
Listen, Adonai, to my voice when I cry; show favor to me; and answer me. “My heart said of you, ‘Seek my face.’” Your face, Adonai, I will seek.
Are we always mindful of divine warnings? When the still small voice in the heart says, “Seek my face,” brothers and sisters, do we always at once respond and say, “Your face, Adonai (Lord), I will seek”?
We often run to God when we experience difficulties. But David sought God’s guiding presence every day. When troubles came his way, he was already in God’s presence and prepared to handle any test.
I am afraid we are often like the horse and the mule, which have no understanding, and need to have the bit, and the bridle, and the rod. But happy are those who have a sensitive nature — who quickly feel the movements of the Spirit of God.
Believers can call to God for help at any time, but how shortsighted to call on God only when troubles come. Many of our problems could be avoided or handled far more efficiently by seeking God’s help and direction beforehand.
Psalm 27: 9-10
Do not hide your face from me; don’t turn your servant away in anger. You are my help; don’t abandon me; don’t leave me, God my savior. Even though my father and mother have left me, Adonai will care for me.
David prayed, you see, and it looked a little unbelieving when he said, “Don’t abandon me; don’t leave me, God my savior.” But it was not so, for at once he confessed that he did not think that God would leave him, even though his father and mother have left him. “Adonai will care for me.”
Many have had the sad experience of being abandoned by father or mother. Broken homes, differences of belief, and addiction to drugs or alcohol, even psychological isolation can leave children crippled by this loss.
Even as adults, the pain may linger. God can take that place in our life, fill that void, and heal that hurt. He can direct us to those who may assume the role of father or mother for us. His love is sufficient for all our needs.
Psalm 27:11-14 CJB
Teach me your way, Adonai; lead me on a level path because of my enemies — don’t give me up to the whims of my foes; for false witnesses have risen against me, also those who are breathing violence. If I hadn’t believed that I would see Adonai’s goodness in the land of the living, . . . Put your hope in Adonai, be strong, and let your heart take courage! Yes, put your hope in Adonai!
I suppose he meant that last sentence to be his own personal recommendation, derived from his own experience. “Put your hope in Adonai!” He had tried it — proved its wonderful power — as the restorative to his heart, and so he says, “Yes, put your hope in Adonai!”
David knew from experience what it meant to wait for the Lord. He had been anointed king at age 16 but didn’t become king until he was 30. During the interim, jealous King Saul had chased him through the wilderness. David had to wait on God for the fulfillment of his promise to reign. Later, after becoming king, he was chased by his rebellious son, Absalom.
Waiting for God is not easy. Often it seems that he isn’t answering our prayers or doesn’t understand the urgency of our situation and that kind of thinking implies that God is not in control or is not fair.
But God is worth waiting for. Lamentations 3:24-26 calls us to hope in and wait for the Lord because often God uses times of waiting to refresh, renew, and teach us. Make good use of your waiting times by discovering what God may be trying to teach you in them.
Be Worshipful (Psalms 1-89): Glorifying God for Who He Is (The BE Series Commentary)
Commentary On The Bible: Charles H. Spurgeon’s Commentary
Chronological Life Application Study Bible NLT
11: Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms