The Meaning of Psalm 27

It’s easy to trust the Lord when life is easy. 

It’s in the moments of trial and hardship that our faith is tested. As we look at the meaning of Psalm 27, we see a man who gives us a great example of this type of struggle. King David endured many persecutions during his lifetime. In this passage, he reveals an intimate conversation with the Lord during a time of great difficulty.

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What is the Meaning of Psalm 27

In this psalm, King David discusses the issues of faith in the midst of fear, seeking the face of God, and waiting on the Lord in the midst of life’s difficulties.

Many scholars believe that Psalm 27 was written earlier in David’s life when he was running from King Saul who was attempting to take his life. (1 Samuel 21-22)

Meaning of Psalm 27:1-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom should I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries, and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. If an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if war arises against me, in spite of this I am confident.

We see in verses 2-3 that David will not fear his enemies because he is confident that the Lord is his light, defense, and salvation. He believed God would deliver him from his enemies.

Meaning of Psalm 27:4-6

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple. For on the day of trouble, He will conceal me in His tabernacle; He will hide me in the secret place of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Because of his great confidence in God’s deliverance, David made the Lord the object of his greatest longing and affection. He recognized that the very presence of God was his place of safety, strength, and victory. This knowledge put a song of praise and adoration on his lips.

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Meaning of Psalm 27:7-10

Hear, Lord, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “I shall seek Your face, Lord.” Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.

Here we see David turning his communication from an inward reflection to direct prayer to God. 

Here are the different points of his prayer:

  • He asks the Lord to hear, to be gracious, and to answer him.
  • David reminds the Lord of his obedience to seek His face
  • He asks that the Lord would reveal His face in the midst of this circumstance
  • David asks the Lord for His continued help.

This prayer gives us a great model for how we can pray during times of fear and trial.

Meaning of Psalm 27:11-13

Teach me Your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not turn me over to the desire of my enemies, for false witnesses have risen against me, and the violent witness. I certainly believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

The land of the living is the opposite of the land of the dead (sheol). Being cut off from the land of the living means that you are dead. (see Ezek. 32:27)

David believed that he would see God’s goodness while remaining alive. Therefore, he asked the Lord to teach him HIs way and grant him the wisdom he needed in the midst of this trial.

Meaning of Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.

Here, we see David encouraging himself to keep trusting the Lord while He waited.

What Can We Learn From Psalm 27?

Now that we have a basic overview of the meaning and context of Psalm 27, let’s take a look at some of the things we can take away for our own lives today.

We Need Not Fear

As we saw in verses 1-3, the Lord is our salvation and defender, and there is none who can stand against Him. 

There is no wisdom, no understanding, and no plan against the Lord. – Proverbs 21:30

We do not need to fear what other people or the different circumstances of life may throw at us. We have the Lord on our side.

Seek His Face

The word “face” appears 3 times in verses 8-9. David understood that his joy, comfort, strength, and peace were found in the very presence of God. 

We seek the face of God when we spend time enjoying His presence. When David said “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple”, we see a heart that longs to seek after the face of God.

What’s your ‘one thing’? What is your greatest longing?

My prayer is that the Lord would help me to make knowing Him my greatest desire.

Meaning of Psalm 27

We Need To Know His Ways

This Psalm also teaches us that we need to know and understand the ways of the Lord. One of the greatest ways we gain this knowledge is through knowing His Word. The Bible is God’s revelation to us. It teaches us how to know HIm and how to live godly lives in this ungodly world. 

We also need wisdom for how to walk through specific circumstances. We need to maintain an open dialogue with the Lord each day, beseeching Him for the daily wisdom we need.

Wait On the Lord

The confidence David had in the person and power of God gave him the strength he needed to wait upon Him.

God does not always act in the way or the timeframe that we ask Him to. Many times, He has us wait. Fortunately, we can be strong and take courage in the midst of our waiting because we know that God is faithful to come through for us in ways that are good, right, and just. 

We can put our faith in His faithfulness.

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