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I am continuing my reading of the fist book of Psalms (1-41) usually providing a fresh translation from Hebrew and some comments. Previous psalms can be found in my archive at e.g. emmock.com psalm 1   etc.

BIG MACRAT (remains of rodent in burger) SHUTS MCDONALDS IN MEXICO  ratburger

PSALM 27 For David

The Lord is my light and my liberty;

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the fortress of my being;

Before whom shall I tremble?

When a rabble of deadly enemies

Came upon me

To feast on my flesh,

They tottered and fell down.

Though an army make camp against me

My heart will be steady;

Though battle surge towards me

In this I will be bold:

One thing that I desire

I have begged from the Lord;

That I may live in the Lord’s House

All the days of my life,

To contemplate the Lord’s beauty

And to reflect in his Temple.

In the day of evil

He will hide me in his booth;

In a fold of his tent

He will conceal me;

He will lift me up on a rock.

So now my head will be lifted up

Above the enemies who surround me;

So now in his tent

I will offer glad sacrifices,

I will sing, yes, I will make music

For the Lord.

Hear my voice, Lord

When I cry;

Favour me with an answer.

You have said, “Seek my face,”

And my heart says to you

“My Lord, I will seek your face”

Do not hide your face from me

Or dismiss your servant in anger

For you have been my help.

Do not leave me nor forsake me

My God of rescue.

When my father and mother forsake me

The Lord will gather me in.

Teach me your road, Lord,

Lead me on a level path

Despite my enemies.

Do not give me over

To the teeth of my enemies;

For lying witnesses

Have risen against me,

Men who breathe out violence.

Oh, if I did not trust to see

The goodness of the Lord

In the land of the living!

Wait on the Lord;

Hold fast;

And he will strengthen your heart.

Yes,

Wait on the Lord!

(Translated emmock 2015)

My translation is my main commentary today, but I want to draw attention to one or two features of this psalm.

tent

tent

1.The language of relationship with God is intimate and passionate. The speaker wants above all to be in the security of the temple where he/she can enjoy the “beauty” or grace of God, and where God will offer protection within his “booth” as a desert sheikh might do. (see Psalm 23). He will be hidden from enemies in  secret corner or fold of the holy tent. he will “seek the Lord’s face”, a courtly expression which means gaining access to the king’s presence, but here, with the special emphasis on the word “face”, perhaps indicating a human love for God.

2. As with psalms of distress, there is mention of enemies and what they are doing. I take the military language as metaphorical: the enemies are in fact trying to destroy the speaker’s reputation. But in this psalm the speaker announces confidence rather than distress. He/she trusts in the protection of God and his temple where he has found peace in prayer and worship. In the temple built on the rock of Zion hill, the speaker is given security and is lifted up above his enemies.

3.In the royal court the retainers of the king “wait on” him, in the sense that they await his command which they will carry out. The psalm moves the language of waiting into his relationship with God. Although he has trust, not everything that happens will be easy. The speaker declares that he expects nevertheless to see God’s goodness in the everyday world. It is not limited to the temple, or postponed to a distant future. It will be evident, but meanwhile, the faithful person should wait on God, that is, hold himself ready to carry out his wishes.

This is a beautiful psalm of trust which does not pretend that all will always go well  for the believer.

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