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scripture

 

PSALM 27*

Trust in God

1aOf David.

A

I

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,*b

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.

II

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

5For God will hide me in his shelter

in time of trouble,d

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.

B

I

7Hear my voice, LORD, when I call;

have mercy on me and answer me.

8“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;*

your face, LORD, do I seek!e

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

II

11LORD, show me your way;

lead me on a level path

because of my enemies.g

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.*h

14Wait for the LORD, take courage;

be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!

* [Psalm 27] Tradition has handed down the two sections of the Psalm (Ps 27:16; 714) as one Psalm, though each part could be understood as complete in itself. Asserting boundless hope that God will bring rescue (Ps 27:13), the psalmist longs for the presence of God in the Temple, protection from all enemies (Ps 27:46). In part B there is a clear shift in tone (Ps 27:712); the climax of the poem comes with “I believe” (Ps 27:13), echoing “I trust” (Ps 27:3).

* [27:2] To devour my flesh: the psalmist’s enemies are rapacious beasts (Ps 7:3; 17:12; 22:14, 17).

* [27:8] 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.

* [27:13] 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.

a. [27:1] Ps 18:29; 36:10; 43:3; Is 10:17; Mi 7:8.

b. [27:2] Ps 14:4.

c. [27:4] Ps 23:6; 61:5.

d. [27:5] Ps 31:21.

e. [27:8] Ps 24:6; Hos 5:15.

f. [27:10] Is 49:15.

g. [27:11] Ps 25:4; 86:11.

h. [27:13] Ps 116:9; Is 38:11.




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