Psalm 27



Insights into Psalm 27

Gaining wisdom and stronger faith

in God

through reading the 27th Psalm


At the bottom of the page there is a section about the reason Jews emphasize this psalm in late summer during the Jewish month of Elul - which will continue until September  7, 2021.

Click here to review all our Bible Devotions.

On this page,

I am going to highlight each verse of this psalm

and make comments.

The Psalm begins:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

whom shall I fear?

the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom

shall I be afraid?

The Lord is my light

What is David saying here?

Well, what does a light do? It helps us see. It makes things visible. It keeps us from stumbling and falling.  It shows us the way things really are so we can avoid obstacles.

The Lord is a light to show us the way to walk in our daily life.

If I spend the night away from home and wake up in the dark and have to walk around in a room that I am not used to, I try to remember where everything is in the room. But many times my idea of where things are and reality are two different things.

It is wiser to use a light, than try to walk in darkness.

If I choose to walk in the dark, I often stumble and fall.

God tells us the way things really are:  In his Word, God sheds light on the situations and circumstances of our life. Then he gives us advice so that we can be saved from learning everything the hard way.

The Lord is my Salvation on a daily basis, and on an eternal basis by saving me from hell. He is the only one who can save me.


David asks, "Whom shall I fear; Whom shall I be afraid?"

The answer to these questions is implied in the verse itself.

With the God of the Universe strengthening me and sharing his light on how to walk in this life, I have no one to fear.

Through trusting God, fear diminishes.

Verse one shows us that David had learned to trust God.

Verse 2

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came

upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

We all acknowledge that there are bad people in the world and sometimes our paths cross the path of very evil people.

However, it is important to note that Ephesians 6:12 tells us that in reality, we are not really having problems with people but demonic forces.

Most of the time in the psalms, God wants us to think of the word "enemies" as demonic enemies.

Overcoming Evil

In Psalm 27:2, David is celebrating the fact that the evil plans that were coming against him have failed.

God encourages us, in difficult times, through Romans 8:27 by saying that His intention for us (His will for us) is for us to be more than conquerors. 

We are wise to also note that God intends for us to obey his instructions so that His will can be done.

God's will is not always done.

See my Bible study on the Lord's prayer and look under the section "Thy will be done" for more discussion on the topic of God's will.

AND - see our page - God's Perfect will vs. God's Permissive will

Verse 3

Though an host should encamp against me,

my heart shall not fear:

though war should rise against me,

in this will I be confident.

When David gets to this verse, he is explaining his plan for the future.

David is wise enough to know that we must plan for the future.

David had earthly enemies,


he needed to be mentally prepared

for any situation that he might encounter.

We, too, need to prepare for future situations. We, too, often need to declare before the Lord that no matter if we find ourselves in upsetting situations, upsetting circumstances, or even dealing with people who consider us their enemies, we will not be shaken.

If we will prepare ahead and speak out our godly preparation, then we are more likely to act appropriately should such a situation arise. This is because speaking godly intentions helps set our will on following God.

Prayer for Psalm 27

Below is a sample Proclamation Prayer

for Psalm 27:

Dear Lord,

Life isn't always easy.

People, situations, and circumstances sometimes come against me. In those times, I plan to refuse fear and pick up confidence in you.

I will seek your guidance and attempt to respond as Jesus would.

I realize that some people may not like me.

They may think of me as an enemy.

But I will not live with anger.

And I will not be afraid of what they could do to me.

I will be confident in you. I will learn to think the way you think.


Copyright © 2014 Beth McLendon of

If you are having difficulty with

earthly enemies,

please consider the insights contained on our

Prayer for Enemies page.

Prayer for Steadfastness

Almighty God,

You are my High Tower.

You are my Fortress of Protection.

You steady me with your Word, and you guide me toward victory.

Thank you for the powerful Shield of Faith you have given me.

It is a shield of confidence in your Word. I will raise my shield and block the enemy's plans against me this day.

I will refuse to obey anyone but you.*

I will remind myself of your goodness and your love for me.

I will watch for clues in my life that you are sending help to me to uplift my emotions and draw my mind toward peace.  And I will welcome your help and meditate on the thoughts that you give me.

You are guiding me toward becoming a mighty man/woman of God. And I will not hinder you. I will yield to you.


Copyright © 2014 Beth McLendon of

* I will refuse to obey anyone who goes against the word of God.

The Shield of Faith is found in Ephesians 6:16.

We also invite you to our Prayer for Strength and our

Spiritual Warfare Prayers, and our

Shield of Faith page.

Verse 4

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;

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 inquire in his temple.

The word "dwell" means to abide or to remain.

It makes us think of " to settle down, to be relaxed, to feel that you belong, to feel at home."

If you had a warm, loving family and you felt loved, accepted, and safe in your home, then you will be able to more fully relate to the great idea expressed here.

For those who have not experienced that,

God wants to give you a revelation

of the kind of warmth and acceptance

that He wants to give you now and throughout eternity.

Psalm 17:15

The warmth in Psalm 27 reminds me of another verse in the Bible. 

In Psalm 17:15 in the Living Bible, David wrote,

"But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you [God] and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face."

Fully satisfied - thinking about those words uplifts my emotions and my mind.

Consider our page on Psalm 17 God our portion.

Psalm 27:15 and Psalm 27:4

both speak of a closeness with God

where we can share warm intimacy with Him -

the one who made the whole universe.

(You may want to visit our page called Prayers for Contentment or our page  Intimacy with God.)

God wants us to feel close to him. 

He wants us to enjoy his presence.

God thinks that

he has given us a really great gift

when he gives us

the opportunity to make a personal

relationship with him.

God actually thinks that is the best

gift he can give someone. 

Sadly most people unwisely

disagree with him.

Let me be specific -

God thinks that giving us the ability

to know him

through his Bible,


the ability to talk to him through prayer -

is the best gift he gives us. 

It is easy to see that David


the gift of knowing God.

~ ~ ~

Will you take a moment and think with me about

how few people in this world

treasure this gift?

Next is an Audio prayer

that was written

to help people

receive God's love.

Click here to listen to the prayer

Verse 5

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:

in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;

he shall set me up upon a rock.

"Hide me."

David is asking God to hide him - protect him.

David also calls out to God to hide him in Psalm 17:8,  Psalm 64:2, and Psalm 143:9.

For example, Psalm 17:8 says, "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings. From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about."

As I look at David's frequent use of the idea of being hidden by God, I am reminded that early in David's life, he gained an understanding that God is his Protector.

David became a shepherd at a young age. He experienced firsthand the fact that sheep are totally defenseless without a good shepherd. David truly grasped the concept that God was his Shepherd, his Protector - his only real protector.

Throughout this psalm, David models for us that we can "get real" with God and talk with him as a friend and depend on him as our Good Shepherd.

Note: David also talks about God hiding us in Psalm 31:19-20.

Lord, you are my hiding place.

Verse 5 concludes with:

He shall set me up upon a rock.

The picture of a rock leads us to thoughts of strength, faithfulness, and the unchangeableness of God.

Many times the Bible uses the word "rock" to represent God.

In fact, in Psalm 18  and in Psalm 62, David speaks of God as a "rock" three times in each of those psalms.

Psalm 18 verses 2, 31, and 46

Psalm 62 verses 2, 6, and 7

In Hebrew, there are three ways to say that something is the best.

One way is to say something three times - such as Holy, Holy, Holy.

In Hebrew, if you speak of God and say that He is holy, holy, holy - you are saying that God is the holiest of all.

God probably inspired David to put the word "rock" in Psalm 18 as a name for himself three times, because he knew the Jewish people would pick up on it and know that he is saying that he is the Greatest Rock.

Notice that the first verse that comes after Psalm 27 is Psalm 28:1, and in it David has the rock illustration for God.

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock.

Psalm 28:1

There are many references to God as a rock in the Psalms.

Note that not all of the psalms below are written by David.
David wrote most of the psalms but not all of them.

God is our Rock

Psalm 28:1b  Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock.

Psalm 31:2  Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock,for an house of defence to save me.

Psalm 62:2  He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

Psalm 62:6  He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

Psalm 62:7  In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Psalm 89:26  He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Psalm 92:15  To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 94:22  But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

Psalm 95:1  O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

If you enjoy the Names of God, I invite you to
Click here to visit our Psalm 18 and the Names of God

Verse 6

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies

round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle

sacrifices of joy;

I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

In the beginning of the verse, David affirms that he knows that he will be saved from his enemies.

But he admits that sometimes he has to give sacrifices of joy because his emotions are not always uplifted.

"Sacrifices of Joy"

Sometimes David had to offer "sacrifices of joy" to God.

I have to do that sometimes.

There are times when life is not joyful and therefore offering joy to God is a sacrifice to me.

I have to push it out of me.

There is a praise song we used to sing at my church:

"We Bring a Sacrifice of Praise unto the House of the Lord."

Sometimes when we sang that song, I was having to give a sacrifice, because the joy wasn't in me right then.

In this verse

David talks about Singing

Next in this verse, David talks specifically about singing.

David is declaring that whether he wants to or not, he will sing praises to God.

Notice he is saying "I will."  He is making a firm commitment with his will  - no matter how he feels. 

I have a couple of teachings on the power of "I will" if you are interested. Click here to visit.

Verse 7

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice:

have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

"Hear, O Lord"

"Here, O Lord,"

is an oft used phrase with David.

He used it in several psalms:

Psalm 17:1, Psalm 30:10, Psalm 64:1, Psalm 69:16,

Psalm 86:1, and Psalm 143:1.

In my mind, it doesn't seem unusual for David to reach out to an invisible God with the words, "Hear, O Lord."

We all sometimes cry out to an invisible God to "hear us."

Many times it is not just a heart cry

that we want to be sure we are actually heard,

but often our heart is really crying out,

"Understand me.

Understand my thoughts and my perspectives. 


my plight and

how difficult my situation

feels to me."

David often thought about his need for God to hear him and to consider his situation.

I can see his wheels turning in his mind as he realizes the following: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear."

David wrote that in Psalm 66:18. Here David wasn't saying that iniquity will make God literally deaf.

Instead David realized that keeping rebellion against God in our heart makes God not as attentive to our prayers.

James explains this concept in James 5:16b,

"The effectual fervent prayer

of a righteous man

availeth much."

Implied in this verse is that if we are not pursuing righteousness,


our prayers are not as effective.


Have Mercy on Me,

The second part of the verse talks about David seeking mercy.

We all seek mercy from God at one time or another. We all need mercy from an all-powerful God who sees all and has our life in his hands.

"Hear , O Lord, and have mercy on me: Lord, be my helper!" Psalm 30:10 NKJV

Wise men and women know they need God, and they seek God's mercy.

Verse 8

When thou saidst,

Seek ye my face;

my heart said unto thee,

Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

I really like this verse in the New Living translation:

My heart has heard you say,

"Come and talk with me, O my people."

And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming."

The Lord draws us every day,

but we need to become more sensitive to his voice

in order to hear him. 

It is helpful to remember that every day,

Satan's forces seek

to draw us away from God.

Every day Satan's forces try to get us to get off God's path.

Dear Lord,

Help me to become more sensitive to your voice.

Lord, I ask you to nudge me when you are wanting my attention.

Merciful Lord, open my eyes to see the tricks of the evil forces that want to draw me away from you.

By faith, I declare that when they tempt me to evil, I will say, "NO," to their temptations.

Thank you, Lord, for raising me up to be strong in you.

You encourage me, you strengthen me, and you give me victory over sin!


Copyright © 2014 Beth McLendon of

Verse 9

Hide not thy face far from me;

put not thy servant away in anger:

thou hast been my help;

leave me not, neither forsake me,

O God of my salvation.

The Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 NKJV says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

There is a false "new grace message" today that says that God is always "happy" with us. That is not true.

God always "loves" us, but he is not always "happy" with us.

If you are a loving parent, you realize that you always "love" your child, but you are not always "happy" with your child.

In this verse, David is humbling himself before God and reiterating his place as God's servant.  He is rededicating himself to the God of his salvation.

Since David is called a man after God's own heart, I try to seriously consider the ways of David that so caught God's attention.

Here is the complete quote of what God said: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."

Here we see obedience and humbleness tied to God saying that David is a man after God's own heart.

I do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit.

Instead, I want to be a woman after God's own heart. I want to be obedient and humble. I realize that I am a servant of the Living God. And I rejoice that I am also called the daughter of the Most High.

Verse 10

When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up.

There are times in our life when we stand alone.

There are times when we feel forsaken.

When we find ourselves standing alone and feeling forsaken, we can know with assurance that God IS there with us. Therefore, we are never truly alone.

It is a great sadness to hear that a person's mother and/or father has forsaken him or her. Yet it happens all too often.

If you have experienced this kind of pain, I  invite you to our prayer page: Father's Love.

Verse 11

Teach me thy way, O Lord,


lead me in a plain path,

because of mine enemies.

Here David is acknowledging God as his teacher and guide. He is also acknowledging that he realizes that as a human being he can misunderstand God. So David is wisely voicing his need: "Make it plain!"

David also expresses this in Psalm 5.

Lord, lead me as you promised me you would,
otherwise my enemies will conquer me.
Tell me clearly what to do, which way to turn."

Psalm 5:8a TLB

I like the verse in Isaiah that says to us:

And if you leave God's path and go astray,
you will hear a Voice behind you say,
"No, this is the way; walk here."

Isaiah 30:21 TLB

These verse share with us that we can have faith
that if we are truly seeking to follow God,
He will
get through to us on important issues.

Verse 12

Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

This verse reminds me of Psalm 3.

In Psalm 3, David is analyzing his plight. He sees that - in the natural -  his enemies are unbeatable. Yet, he reminds himself that his God is more powerful than all his enemies combined

All David's enemies combined are nothing compared to God's might.

David declares in Psalm 3:6, "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about."

When circumstances and situations overwhelm us, it is good to remind ourselves that there is no force that can compare to our God.

Verse 13

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see

the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

This verse makes it clear that David does have faith in God.

This verse is implying, that in the past, the faith that David has had in God has lifted him above his circumstances. It has lifted him before, and it will again.

I would have fainted unless...

Some people lament that their problem is expressed in
Proverbs 13:12 - Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

As I have lived my life and wrestled with the meaning of Proverbs 13:12, I have come to the conclusion that it matters a lot what you have hope in.

I will get very disturbed if I put my faith in an expectation of receiving something here on earth from God, and it doesn't occur.

Several times, I had waited years for God to answer a prayer request. When I went to God to complain, I used the "Hope deferred" verse to explain why my attitude was sagging.

I have finally come to realize that:

Number One:   If I have hope in God that God will give me good things along life's way and

Number Two:   I intentionally do not put my hope in specific outcomes

Then my attitude will not be so saggy.

This is especially important

when my "outcomes" involve other people.

People are free agents, and God will not override their will to answer our prayer.

God tells us to pray for people, but we have to keep the proper perspective. If we don't keep the proper perspective, we will encounter sadness or anger, and those emotions can get a foothold in our life.

It is best to have hope in God's goodness

instead of

in a particular outcome that we want.

Because hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I ask the Lord to help me to be powerful in prayer and to stand in faith. Yet I also ask God to help me not to put so much hope in a situation that I open myself up to the problem of Proverbs 13:12.

A Fine Line

There is a fine line between standing on the promises of God and putting hope in something that can make our heart sick.

If you want more clarity on that, I urge you to ask the Lord to be your teacher - and then be alert to his voice as he guides you toward making this teaching relevant to your situations.

Verse 14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall

strengthen thine heart:

wait, I say, on the Lord.

Wait on the Lord:

be of good courage


strengthen thine heart.

This verse reminds us that we sometimes have to wait on God for the strength we are seeking. 

I'd love it if all I had to do was just pray and when I say "Amen," immediately
I would then feel strength flooding into me and that strength would fill me up.

But this verse and others in the Bible remind us that many times (I think most of the time) there is a waiting period before we gain the strength of God that we need for a battle we are fighting.

The words "Be of good courage" mean that as we wait, we need to have faith that the strength is coming, so that we wait peacefully - knowing our strength is on the way.

Heavenly Father,

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Your Word teaches me wisdom and fills me with newness of life.

As I come to you today, I bring my needs to you. Help me to lay down all my problems at your feet. Help me to lay down all my tangled thoughts and restless emotions.

Lord, I am seeking your peace and your patience. I want to learn to wait patiently for you to bring your answers to my prayers. I want to cooperate with your plans for me. Thank you for assuring me that your plans for me are good.

As I wait on you, I will continue to turn to your Word for comfort and direction. Your Word is solid and reliable.

Your Word steadies me. Your Word brings me truth.  Your Word gives me strength. Your Word chases away my worry and my fears. Your Word refreshes me.

Thank you for your Word.


Copyright © 2012 Beth McLendon of

Scripture: Psalm 119:105 and Jeremiah 29:11

The above prayer is from the page: Prayer for Patience

Jewish Insights into Psalm 27

Rosh Hashanah

is celebrated

on the first day of the Jewish month Tishri.

Leviticus 23:23-24

It is interesting to note that in today's world

the Jewish people read

Psalm 27

on Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hasanah is the celebration that begins a new Jewish year.

The evening of

September 6 of 2021

  will begin the new Jewish year of 5782.

(It is officially when the new moon is sighted in Jerusalem.)

Rosh Hashanah

is also called

The Feast of Trumpets


Yom Teruah

The shofar

(a musical instrument made out of a ram's horn)

is blown

multiple times, like a trumpet, on this day.

I think it is blown 100 times.

 The Month of Elul

The month before Tishri



During the month of Elul, some of the Jews speak out

Psalm 27 twice a day, and

blow the shofar once a day.

Psalm 27

represents the main themes

of Elul

and the whole season


ends with the

Feast of Tabernacles


is one of the themes

of the month

of Elul.

It is a time of

preparation of the heart

for the New Year. 

It is a time of reviewing the past year and taking stock.

For the Jews, it is a season of analyzing what important things of life have been pushed aside, and a season of getting their priorities back in order.

It is the ultimate time

of repairing relationships -

our relationship with God - 

and with others.

The Jews examine what hindrances are keeping them from a full relationship with God and with others.

Deuteronomy 30:6 is a verse that is associated with Elul.

"And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Jesus adds to this understanding in John 10:10b "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

The month of Elul is the month right before Tishri.

As was said earlier: The first day of Tishri is the holiday of Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year.

So the month of Elul is the preparation month for the new year - and after that - for the upcoming time of Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is the

Holiest Day of the Jewish year.

 Yom Kippur is ten days after Rosh Hashannah.

Throughout the month of Elul, the Jews are drawing into deeper introspective.

As Yom Kippur gets closer, the introspection crescendos.

All serious Jews want to be right with God by (really before) Yom Kippur.  

The evening of September15, 2021

and going through the day of September 16, 2021


Yom Kippur.

And the evening of  September 20, 2021

begins the week-long feast of

The Feast of Tabernacles

where the Jews dwell outside in a family sukkah or booth.

The booth is to be designed

to have holes in the roof

so people can see the stars.

Adam's Birthday

The Jews have a traditional belief that the 25th day of Elul is the first day of the six days of creation.

The Jews believe that the day that Adam was created was the first day of the month of Tishri which is Rosh Hashanah.

  A Final Scripture for our Psalms 27 page

An added Scripture reference to God as a rock:

Isaiah 17:10 - 

Because thou hast forgotten

the God of thy salvation,

and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength.

Here is a link that may be of interest:

Jump to the top of Psalm 27.

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