Israel knew God as “salvation” and celebrated that identity in the aftermath of the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 15:2). The reason for omitting verses 2-3 is not clear, but verse 4 is certainly worthy of attention. As James Luther Mays says, “The Lord is called ‘light’ because light drives darkness away.”2 Light is a basic category of order and stability that recalls the first act of creation (Gen 1:3; see Exodus 10:21). The terms “seek” and “inquire” suggest the presence of a prophet or other cultic official who gave oracles to worshippers who “sought” them. “Stronghold” is a common description of God in the Psalms (Psalm 18:2). These words claim a close relation to God. The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. WORKS UPON THE TWENTY-SEVENTH PSALM Excellent Encouragements against Afflictions, containing David's Triumph over Distress; or an Exposition of Psalm 27. This was literally true in the case of our Lord in Gethsemane, when those who came to take him went backward and fell to the ground; and herein he was a prophetic representative of all wrestling believers who, rising from their knees shall, by the power of faith, throw their foes upon their faces. "The Lord is the strength of my life." It is a hopeful sign for us when the wicked hate us; if our foes were godly men it would be a sore sorrow, but as for the wicked their hatred is better than their love. This rich passage comprises four subscenes as the Gospel positions Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 4:12-16) and narrates the opening acts of Jesus’ public activity (Matthew 4:17-23). Rather, the psalmist’s only desire is to be in God’s presence and to allow God’s word to direct his life. An additional expression “in his tent” here and in verse 6 has the same meaning. But then verse 7 seems to wrench us back to uncertainty and fear. For other expressions of these images in the Psalms see especially Psalms 61:2b-4 and 63:7. In times of trouble the natural impulse is to flee to a place of safety (see Psalm 11:1-3 for an expression of that sentiment), but Psalm 27 declares the Lord is the “place.”. In verse 6 the psalmist declares the intention to worship with song and sacrifice in response to God’s salvation. No one needs any better security against the objects of fear or dread than the conviction that God is his friend. He is abundantly able to protect us, and we may confidently trust in Him. Psalm 27 is unique in its heightened emphasis on trust. A question which is its own answer. my counsellor in all my difficulties, and my comforter and deliverer in all my distresses. David’s subjects called him the light of Israel; but he owns he shone, as the moon doth, with a borrowed light: the light which God communicated to him reflected upon them. - No one has power to take life away while He defends me. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Sermon Bible Commentary. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? It sums up the faith embedded in the psalm with the declaration, “One thing I asked of the lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the lord and to inquire in his temple.” Here the psalmist identifies the place of God’s protection and shelter as the central sanctuary in Jerusalem. The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”. The church to which Paul writes more likely numbered in … These images suggest, therefore, that whatever trouble plagues the psalmist, the Lord’s protection is sufficient to protect the psalmist from it. A tent does not have multiple rooms as permanent structures do. He prayeth for the light of God’s face, and his salvation, Psalm 27:7-12; and from experience others to wait upon him, Psalm 27:13,14. Whom shall I fear? “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”, The church to which Paul writes more likely numbered in the dozens than in the hundreds.1. The images continue and expand on the notion of God as stronghold. The opening verse describes the Lord with language that suggests his presence is life-giving and protective. It is possible that the psalmist perceived and experienced God’s appearance and presence (God’s “face;” verse 8) via sunlight that shone into the temple and reflected off gold decorations (1 Kings 6:20). "Came upon me" - advanced to the attack, leaping upon the victim like a lion upon its prey. Division. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. If God is on our side, or is for us, we can have no apprehension of danger. Each word is instructive. Strength.—Better, defence or bulwark; Heb., maôz, rendered “rock,” Judges 6:26 (margin, strong place); used in Isaiah 17:9 of fortified cities; as here, Psalm 37:39; Psalm 43:2; LXX., “shields;” Vulg., “protector.”. Commentary on Psalm 27:1, 4-9. Thus, as Mays points out, “the two parts of the psalm are one more way in which the Psalter teaches how closely related are trust and need.”4, Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. Or, in other words, He keeps me alive. Meditations upon the 27th Psalm … the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Commentary on Psalm 27:1, 4-9. That is, the psalmist here and elsewhere speaks of God as a hiding place, a shelter from the storms of life. There is a definite shift between Part 1 and Part 2. A tent does not have multiple rooms as permanent structures do. "Even mine enemies and my foes." The psalm is a prayer for help. In itself life is feeble, and is easily crushed out by trouble and sorrow; but as long as God is its strength, there is nothing to fear. David once again petitions God for help. The reference to God as light (and to God’s face) thus makes the psalm particularly appropriate for the season of epiphany, the celebration of the manifestation of God’s presence. THE ARGUMENT It is apparent from the body of this Psalm, that David was not yet fully delivered from the trouble which his enemies gave him, both by their slanders and other ways. There were many of them, they were of different sorts, but they were unanimous in mischief and hearty in hatred. - Here is personal interest, "my light," "my salvation;" the soul is assured of it, and therefore, declaring it boldly. In verse 6 the psalmist declares the intention to worship with song and sacrifice in response to God’s salvation. They profess an entire allegiance to God. When it actually comes to push of pike, faith's shield will ward off the blow; and if the first brush should be but the beginning of a war, yet faith's banners will wave in spite of the foe. "When the wicked." They involve the corresponding fealty to God that, howsoever His light may come to the soul, it will admit that light, and joy in it, and be faithful to it. This is a pattern of many other psalms, also written by David. the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? These images suggest, therefore, that whatever trouble plagues the psalmist, the Lord’s protection is sufficient to protect the psalmist from it. Doubtless the shadow of anticipated trouble is, to timorous minds, a more prolific source of sorrow than the trouble itself, but faith puts a strengthening plaister to the back of courage, and throws out of the window the dregs of the cup of trembling. The first part of the psalm consists of Verses 1-6, and the second part consists of Verses 7-14. He wrote verses 7-12 when life was difficult He thought that God was hiding from him. The lectionary reading, however, skips to verse 4. But then the psalm turns to complaint and petition for the rest of the lectionary reading and for the rest of the psalm (verses 7-14). The psalm actually petitions God for more, namely for deliverance from an enemy’s false accusations (verse 12), but it suggests that such deliverance comes under the care of God’s sheltering protection. The metaphor derives from military situations in which a well-positioned fortress with strong walls provided safety from enemy assaults. Thus, as Mays points out, “the two parts of the psalm are one more way in which the Psalter teaches how closely related are trust and need.”3, Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. "My light" - into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to see our own darkness and to long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. Of whom shall I be afraid? The plenitude of Scripture will thus appear the more wonderful. The opening verse describes the Lord with language that suggests his presence is life-giving and protective. The encamping host often inspires greater dread than the same host in actual affray.