Psalms 26-31 One thing have I asked of the Lord

From Psalms 26-31

19 Psalms Fragment

In today’s psalm, the psalmist reveals what is truly important about the LORD. What he values the most. What do you love about the LORD? What would you give everything up for?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.


Ps 26.1-12; Book One; David; I Will Bless the LORD

Ps 27.1-14; Book One; David; The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation

Ps 28.1-9; Book One; David; The LORD Is My Strength and My Shield

Ps 29.1-11; Book One; David; Ascribe to the LORD Glory

Ps 30.1-12; Book One; David; I will extol the LORD

Ps 31.1-24; Book One; David; Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit

Passage and Comments

The psalmist begins with praise. He makes him known to all the people around him.

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps 27.1)

The psalmist describes the LORD as his light, salvation and stronghold. Light banishes darkness and guides the way. Salvation is what one experiences when delivered from his enemies or victory in battle. A stronghold is a place someone goes when they seek protection. The LORD is all these things to the psalmist. He has no reason to be afraid.

2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. (Ps 27.2-3)

The psalmist is attacked, but because of the LORD it is they who stumble and fall. The psalmist is besieged by many foes, but he is confident because the LORD is with him.

The next few statements reveal what is truly important to the psalmist.

4 One thing have I asked 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 gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. (Ps 27.4-6)

The psalmist has asked for what is dear to his heart. Each of his desires suggest the psalmist is a priest.

He wants to dwell in the house of the LORD. He wants to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD. He wants to inquire in his temple. He wants to offer sacrifices in his tent (temple). He wants to sing and praise the LORD.

I think this next part is the best part of the psalm. The LORD gives a command and the psalmist responds.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!

8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” (Ps 27.7-8)

The LORD is gracious and merciful. He listens to our prayers. Its not unusual for those who feel accepted by the LORD to want him to command us.

The LORD asks of us to seek his face. His true likeness. How will you respond?

9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. (Ps 27.9-10)

The psalmist truly desires to seek the LORD and he knows he can do so only if the LORD allows him to. If the LORD turns away in anger he will not find him. If the LORD casts him away he will not see his face. The LORD reveals himself to those he so desires.

The psalmist compares the LORD’s love for him compared to his parents. It is truly hard to find people more caring for someone than their parents.

The psalmist says the LORD desires to look after him more than his parents.

The psalmist has a few worldly problems and he seeks the LORD’s help.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. (Ps 27.11-12)

The psalmist has enemies and adversaries. People who bear false witness against him. The want to kill him. He asks for the LORD to teach him his ways, to lead him on a level path. Why?

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! (Ps 27.13)

The psalmist believes living a godly life will help him to be vindicated over his enemies and to seek the LORD’s face. He will live.

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Ps 27.14)

He instructs others to follow the same pattern of life.

To wait for the LORD.

In his own timing he will save his people. Waiting takes patience. Inner strength, trust, perseverance and hope. These qualities come from the heart.

Story of Jesus

In the gospel Jesus best exemplifies the qualities desired by the psalmist. He walked in this fathers way. As the Father worked, so did he. Not only did he seek his Fathers face. He made his Father known to the world. Jesus was condemned by his enemies. By false witnesses. They took him to the cross. On the cross he waited for the LORD.

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. (Lk 23.44-49)

He waited till the very end. Afterward his Father answered. He raised Jesus back up to the land of the living.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.