This Psalm was written by David. David went through numerous troubles from his young age. Even the King of the country rose against him without any reason. But he put his trust upon his God alone. Whenever he went through tough situations, he ran into the protection of God.

Even though we don’t know the exact situation of David’s life in which this psalm was written, we may predict it as a time when he was facing many enemies in his life. This psalm reveals how much David was afflicted by his enemies and how he trusted God for his deliverance in the midst of a big battle.

1. (Verses 1-6) Proclamation of faith in God’s protection

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?

God is the source of light that removes the darkness of fear and death (Psalm 18:28). He is the only one who can save a person from every trouble that comes against him. When a person has God as his source of light, then the power of fear and death has nothing to do with him (Psalm 23:4). They cannot overcome him. When he waits for the salvation of God, no weapon can stand against him and God protects him in times of trouble (Isaiah 33:2). So David declares in faith that God is his light and salvation and thus he doesn’t have to fear anyone who comes against him.

The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

The person who trust God’s strength in every aspect of life and doesn’t lean on his own strength, he doesn’t have to be afraid of anyone. Because God will be his strength in times of his trouble. God stands on his side and fights for him (Psalm 37:39). God will be his strong refuge into which he can run when the enemy comes against him (Psalm 46:1).

When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.

Wicked people raise against righteous people to destroy them, but God will protect the righteous people. But for those wicked people, God will return the reward of their deeds upon their heads (1 Kings 8:32). As our God is righteous God, He will judge the wicked people according to their wicked deeds (Psalm 58:11). They will fall on the pit they dug for the righteous people (Psalm 7:15).

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

David was confident that God will protect His righteous people even when they have to face difficulties that seem like a great army. When a man has God as his shield, even an army of ten thousand people cannot overcome him (Psalm 3:3,6). The name of the Lord is the protective armor that safeguards a man from his enemies in war (Psalm 118:10).

One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: 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.

Even though David was going through a tough time, his only desire was to be in the presence of God. It is a great blessing to be in God’s presence (Psalm 65:4). Being in the presence of God is better than being in any other place (Psalm 84:10). He wanted to see the glory of God in his life.

As Jesus stayed back in the temple of God and discussed things next to the kingdom of God, David longed to know more and more about God. Those who stay in the presence of God will get the strength of God (Psalm 84:4,7).

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

When a person goes to the presence of God in times of trouble, God protects him with His mighty arms which is the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1). Those who stay in God’s presence are blessed. Even if they have to go through tears and grief, they will make it as springs (Psalm 84:4,6). As they wait patiently in the presence of God for His leading, God will bring them out even from the miry clay and make them walk in high places (Psalm 40:1,2).

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Those who wait for the Lord will be lifted up above their enemies and God will prepare a table for them in front of those who wanted to see their destruction (Psalm 23:5). When God delivers us from our enemies, we need to be thankful to God for all the blessings.

We cannot pay back to God for every blessing He has given. The only thing that we can do is to come before His presence with joy and thanksgiving (Psalm 100:1,2). And pay all the vows we made with God in our trouble (Psalm 116:12-14).

2. (Verses 7-12a) Prayer from the distressed heart

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

David cries out to God for help. God hears the prayers of the righteous people and will answer them because He keenly listens to their prayers (Psalm 34:15). His mercy is upon those who fear the Lord (Psalm 103:11,17). When a person lives a righteous life before God and has the fear of the Lord, his prayers will be answered without fail.

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

David claims the promise God has given in his prayer. Seeking the face of the Lord will bring blessings. There will be no other person who will help in times of trouble. Seeking the face of a man in the time of distress is vain. But if we seek the face of God claiming His promises, He will surely answer us.

Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.

David requests God not to hide His face to him. Our sins hide the face of God from us (Jeremiah 59:2). It makes Him angry (Psalm 78:17). When we repent back to Him and lean on His strength, we receive His favor (Psalm 30:5). When God is with a person, God will be his salvation to protect him from his enemies because God will not leave him not forsake him at any moment (Joshua 1:5). Thus David asks God to be with him and be his help.

When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.

The love of parents for their children is always incredible and incomparable. But they may also leave and fail us. But the love and care of God for those who fear Him won’t change or fail. David was sure that God will take care of his life even when his parents forsake him.

David had the experience of these words in his life. When Samuel called the children of Jesse to choose the king of Israel, their father forgot his son David. But God never forgot him (1 Samuel 16:11).

Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

The ways of the Lord are always perfect (Psalm 18:30). He teaches His truth to those who wait for Him and leads them in His ways (Psalm 25:4,5). When a person hands over his life in God’s hand and trusts him, God will direct his paths and shall bring forth his righteousness as the light before his enemies (Psalm 37:5,6).

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;

David asks God not to leave him to the will of his adversaries. When a person considers the poor and help them, God delivers him from all of his troubles. God won’t let him in the hands of his adversaries (Psalm 41:1,2). He won’t let the enemies to rejoice over His people because they hate His people without any cause (Psalm 35:19).

3. (Verses 12b-14) Testimony and confession of faith

For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

David was accused of doing wrong that he did not do. They slandered against him to bring him down among the people. When people do like this, the disgrace faced will make a person stressful. He would lose all of his hope and expectations for his future.

But David had one thing to say: As he believed in his God and His strength that protects against the enemies’ plans, he didn’t lose his heart. He didn’t lose his hope for the future. He believed that God will make him see goodness in the land in front of his enemies. This gave him courage to face any problem (Psalm 116:9,10).

Wait on the Lord ; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord ! Finally, he talks to his soul. He encourages it to wait patiently for God. Those who wait for God to act on their behalf will renew their strength like an eagle. God gives them courage to run without fainting or getting weary (Isaiah 40:31). They will praise God with gladness as they will be saved by God for whom they waited for (Isaiah 25:9).

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