Psalm 27 - One Thing Have I Desired of the Lord

This psalm is about trusting in the Lord and experiencing Him in this life, the land of the living. This seems to have taken place while David still depended on his parents (v10), probably while being pursued by King Saul.

I enjoy ad-libbing this song, for example, like drawing out the end of the 3rd line of verse 2, and singing the 4th line of the verse, real quick.
v1 -  The Lord does not just give me light and salvation. The Lord Himself is my light and my salvation. Because He is my light for me to see, and my salvation, I do not fear man.

The Lord is also the strength of my life for me to act.
v2 -  This is David's experience of trusting the Lord in the past.
v3 -  This is David's faith toward what may happen in the future.
I like to recite this verse when I am worried about something.
v4- "every day of my life" refers to this life. We can behold the Lord's beauty especially in the 4 gospels of the Lord's life on earth.

If we seek to dwell in the Lord's house every day of our life, then surely at least we must read the Bible itself every day.  
To dwell in the Lord's house every day of our life, does not mean that we are in the Lord's presence all day long, but at least some part of every day, we spend before the Lord at rest.

Though David was in much trouble in this psalm, his one desire from the Lord was not deliverance from the worst trouble, but to dwell in the Lord's house every day. He also believed that he would see the Lord's good in this life (v13).
v5 - Lit. "For He shall hide me in a tent in the evil day; he hides me in a secret place of His tabernacle."
 It doesn't seem that this verse should follow the previous. This verse starts with "for", giving the reason why I seek to dwell in the Lord's house every day. I seek the Lord in His house every day because I know that He will hide me there when the troublous times come, and they will come. The best way I can prepare for the coming troublous times is to spend time in His house every single day.

The house of the Lord and His temple in which I seek the Lord in v4 are permanent structures in the heavens. The tent and tabernacle in which He hides me in v5 are temporary structures on earth.

To be set up high is not good unless upon a solid foundation. The way David trusted in the Lord, refusing to repay Saul evil while Saul was trying to kill him, laid a foundation for the Lord to set David high inside a rock.
v6- "Now" means right now as I am praying my head is lifted up out of depression. Our head is lifted up now as we pray, not having to wait until later when the trouble is gone.
v7 - The 1st 6 verses were David testifying to man. Now verses 7-9 are prayer:
v8 -  David's heart tells the LORD  to seek out his face, similar to his heart will not fear in v2.  This means that these things are done without David having to will to do it, but his heart wants the Lord to seek out his face.

I translate this verse similar to Goldingay and Darby. This is the only way that makes sense and honors the text.  The verb "seek" is imperative plural. God can take a plural verb because He is Triune, especially when He seeks man.
v 9 - We always need to be aware that the Lord could put us away in anger, especially after we have high experiences like those in this psalm. Some Christians think that this sober fear applies only to the Old Testament, but this is the thought of the New Testament as well.  Paul was watchful lest after bringing others to the Lord, he himself would be cast away (1 Cor 9:27). This is not for Paul to lose his eternal salvation, but to be put out from the Lord's service and to miss out on the coming millenial kingdom (Heb 4:1). The church in Laodicea were servants of the Lord whom the Lord warned that He may put them away in anger (Rev 3:16).

The Lord has said that He would never forsake us or leave us (Heb 13:6). Why then does David pray for this if the Lord already promised it? In our suffering and need the Lord is always there, but in our pride, He may hide His face from us (Ps 30:6).
v10 - The words "take me up" are symbolic of the rapture. "Take up" is the same Hebrew word as "gather" in Ps 50:5. The early rapture of the overcomers at the beginning of the great tribulation is also prefigured in 27:5.
v11 -  A plain path is not complicated by rationalizations for self or others or to maintain an organization.
When David prayed this, he meant it. When someone claimed he killed King Saul and brought David Saul's crown expecting a reward, David killed the oportunist for killing the Lord's annointed (2 Sam 1:2-16). After Saul's death, when there was a civil war between David and Saul's son, Ishbosheth, 2 of Ishbosheth's servants murdered Isbosheth and brought his head to David expecting a reward. David slew the murderers (2 Sam 4:5-12). When Joab, David's heroic general, murdered Abner, Isbosheth's general, under the guise of peace, David was not strong enough to deal with Joab, but he did not let it go. When dying, he commanded his son, Solomon, to do justice to Joab for the murders he had done (1 Kings 2:5-6).
v13 - This is in this life, in the land of the living.
v14 - Here the Lord helps those that help themselves. We wait on the Lord and be strong. Then  He strengthens our heart, and we wait on the Lord.

-copyright Steve Miller 2010
written 9/10/2010
updated 1/2/2011