The past as illumined by God’s favour, and the past as his own wherein he strove to love and serve God. We see it by the works of creation and providence; but if we should know His nature, and not His will towards us--His commanding will, what He will have us do; and His promising will, what He will do for us--except we have a ground for this from God, the knowledge of His nature is but a confused knowledge; it serves but to make us inexcusable, as in Romans 1:19 it is proved at large. 1144. By the very make of our own spirits He calls us to Himself. But with all who are taught of God, religion is a choice—the free, settled, rejoicing choice of the heart. We delight in them, and to hear some empty creature, to fasten upon a story or some phrases by the bye. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies; literally, the soul of mine enimies; i.e. ii. The question is superfluous, but is repeated to complete the balance of the clauses. An educating, developing power, in obedience to duty, which nothing can take the place of. His experience of his enemies. There they see the "beauty" of the Lord; i.e. To seek God‘s face is to seek His favor (Psalm 105:4). https: Spiritually as well as temporally. But this verse is a little otherwise rendered by divers learned men. God’s “ye” is met by his “I.” The psalmist makes no hesitation or delay--“When Thou saidst . Psalms 18:2; Psalms 61:2). If a plain duty is before you, however difficult, go forward in the strength of the Lord, and fear nothing. The spiritual condition of unsaved men. Yea, God's love and care make them so happy that they must give vent to their joy as with trumpet-song. If he will but turn his face to the light, the glory will brighten his features and make glad his eyes. So that when God called creation forth into existence, it was only His own thoughts taking form and coming back again to Himself. They are seekers after God, are they? (T. God is our Light. Upon our faithfulness to each one in succession depend the vividness and the power with which the other will fall. xix., No. There is great danger in this age of companies of our losing ourselves in the form of humanity. Shall this be deemed too humiliating for our proud hearts to submit to? Ver. "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". Well, so long as you speak to a man as a man, merely as being one of a sinful kind, one whose sinfulness, like the colour of his skin, he has in common with millions around him, he will generally quite complacently meet the accusation. The psalmist knew this as a fact of experience, and he could urge it as a plea now in his present distress. We have need to pray, "Teach me thy way, and lead me in an even path."—S. ", True religion begins with God. 4. 2. The power that comes from that we call Christ. My heart said unto thee, &c.] My heart, moved and inspirited by thy Spirit working in me a gracious compliance, echoed out as it were, "Thy face," &c. See the like Jeremiah 3:22, "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. None admire Him more than the blessed angels, that see most of Him, and the blessed spirits that have communion with Him. Psalms 89:15). "In the mount, the Lord is seen." Men will do anything rather than make an uncompromising surrender. Verse 8. "Commentary on Psalms 27:8". Immediate, as the thunder to the lightning, the answer follows the invitation. III. "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1. Faith will see light at a little crevice. And fra now I sal seke thy face lastandly, til my dede; and that I fynd my sekyng:" i.e., To thee, said my heart; thee my face sought: thy face, O Lord, I shall seek. David’s example is precisely that which we should follow. 1909-1922. The singleness of purpose branches into two main streams. References: Psalms 27:8.—J. 1870. The Lord is my Light (comp. Bible, conscience, providence. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, &c.] Or, "My heart said unto thee" (or, for thee, and in thy stead), Let my face seek thy face, &c. Or concerning thee, said my heart; that is, I have constantly considered of those words of thine "Seek ye my face," and, therefore I come confidently unto thee. Faith watching. God cannot always grant this prayer in this sense. 1. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. There is an inward relish for what is good. Used by Permission. I. its too frequent absence. 1999. One thought has the mastery. J. Pulsford, Christian World Pulpit, vol. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. When the voice says to you, “Pray,” pray at once. The psalm consists of a strophe (Psalms 27:1-6), an antistrophe (Psalms 27:7-12), and a brief epode (Psalms 27:13, Psalms 27:14). Of whom shall I be afraid? It is impossible to translate simply: my heart says to Thee. Seek ye my face. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain.Text Courtesy of There is always something to be done, and to do the act is to accept the call. III. 3. I have always loved how king David, as a sinner always placed his faith in the Lord. The sense of the Hebrew word לך, leka, is somewhat ambiguous. Salvation from his greatest dangers, temporal and spiritual "Strength," the power that had upheld his life when falling into weakness and despair. A man need only come out of his dark hiding-place to find it. 2. But he has not left us to vague trust (reasonable though that would have been). I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. God is no such God, but He may be searched into. The Lord is the Strength of my life; literally, the stronghold (comp. From side to side a very artillery was maintained. It begins with God. I. There is one thing which appears to characterise every call; i.e., a call to action. ), Walking one day in the Queen’s Park, Edinburgh, I heard the music of a military band. Such views can be upheld neither from Scripture nor from common sense. Note: Let the coming sinner never forget that, if he is seeking God, God has sought him first. I will seek by Thy strength and grace. What the heart says God always hears. Amid all my joy and jubilation, there is still one thing which I need, which I entreat Jehovah to grant—that thing I shall continue to seek after until I obtain it, viz. Jehovah's self-revelation, and faith's response thereto. In the Lord's house, his presence was specially manifested; and those who know the Lord know well that there is no home like being by their Saviour's side, in his house. Psalms 3:3-7; Psalms 4:1; Psalms 6:8-10; Psalms 18:2, etc.). It records, as has been said, "the triumph of a warrior's faith." "Commentary on Psalms 27:8". We look back and remember times of danger (verse 2). (3) The text also shows us the nature of religion: "Seek ye My face." This prayer is a prayer against three dangers. "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". When "all hope was taken away," God's angel told Paul that all were to be saved for his sake (Acts 27:20, Acts 27:22-24). Those who employ open violence. Psalms 27:8 When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Our acceptances are only the echo of God's invitations. Of David. BY CULTIVATING COURAGE. JOSEPH A ALEXANDER Psalms Commentary (1864) Spurgeon had high praise for Alexander's work writing that it "Occupies a first place among expositions. Muis, De Wette, and other interpreters, translate the first words: "my heart speaks of Thee." Joseph Benson's Commentary. IV. “Thou saidst.” True religion originates with God. When thou saidst; either by thy word, commanding and inviting me so to do; or by thy Spirit, directing and inclining me to it. Seek ye my face, i.e. The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”, 3. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. They will turn over a new leaf, sign the pledge, attend the sanctuary, and even take the sacrament. 2. I could not see the musicians, but the great rocks above me echoed the music, note for note, and one could have thought that the players themselves were hidden there. II. "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". David means just what God means. There is a "Now or never" in God's calls. The believing heart's obedience to God's command. my heart said to Thee.” The psalmist gathers himself together in a concentrated resolve of a fixed determination--“Thy face will I seek.” That is how we ought to respond. And still more the declared joy of God when souls are at rest in him (Zephaniah 3:17). --- Salvation. 2. None need quail before the risks of life, whatever they may be, who put their whole trust in God, and follow him everywhere! "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". David once again petitions God for help. There is nothing so strengthening to our whole nature—nothing that so nerves us to meet danger and difficulties—as the doing all that we know to be the will of God—doing all known duty. But how often His message is heard and refused, and how terrible if this refusal be persisted in! Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. As in a picture, we see the mustering of the forces, the proud array of the enemy with tents and banners, the shock and terror of the battle, when host met host in furious strife. https: (3) It was decided: "Thy face, Lord, will I seek." We will, therefore, endeavour to sift this conversation; not only examining the precise meaning of what God directs and man promises, but searching out, also what may be more incidentally but not less decisively taught. The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? And He is in every heart. 1871-8. Psalm 27:8 Seek My Face Food for Thought An Guide to Kingdom Living. "Commentary on Psalms 27:8". We know God’s nature somewhat in the creature, that He is a powerful, a wise, a just God. The clauses are short, and broken, "Hear, O Lord; with my voice I call; pity me, and answer me.". BibliographyBullinger, Ethelbert William. When you are challenged, you may dangers meet. The tenor of God's whole Word to man is, "Seek ye my face;" equivalent to "Come unto me for rest, for protection, for salvation." 2. https: A. (Verse 1.) We are cold, dreary, bloomless, barren, we will seek thy face.” And forthwith they climb, and climb, a six months’ climb from January to June, to the zenith, to the meeting face to face. The psalmist takes the general invitation and converts it into an individual one, to which he responds. Because of mine enemies. In Psalm 28:3, Psalm 28:4 the prayer is expanded. "To seek the face of the Lord," is considered as equivalent to, "to repair to the temple." It is indeed true, that we are far from God so long as we abide in this world, because faith is far removed from sight; but it is equally true, that we now see God as in a mirror, and darkly, (1 Corinthians 13:12,) until he shall openly show himself to us at the last day. WAITING UPON GOD. Kelly. For false witnesses are risen up against me. By an effort of faith, the psalmist saved himself from the despair which threatened to seize upon him, and assured himself that he would yet experience "the goodness of the Lord" in some merciful interposition and deliverance, while he still remained on earth, before he "went whence he should not return—to the land of darkness and the shadow of death, a land of darkness as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness" (Job 10:21, Job 10:22). Psalm 27:8. . II. Service to God. I say, then, to every one of you, “Seek ye after God: seek him instantly, without delay: seek him whilst he may be found, and call upon him whilst he is near:” for the time is quickly coming when your day of grace shall be closed, and “God will swear in his wrath that ye shall never enter into his rest.” On the other hand, assure yourselves, that, “if you seek him, he will be found of you,” and “your hearts shall live for ever.” Let every one of you, therefore, now go home, and put the matter to a trial. 1599-1645. https: In this verse we are taught that if we would have the Lord hear our voice, we must be careful to respond to his voice. There is also brought out here very plainly the complete correspondence between the Divine command and the devout man’s resolve. But it is only a parable: infinitely greater and more glorious is the summer which results from the direct relationship of the spirit-face of God and the spirit-face of man; the all-giving face of an infinite Creator, Lord, Father, Saviour, and the receiving faces of His sons and daughters. David begins with the exclamation, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your sp… The strain now entirely changes. Answer: I. “Hide not Thy face far from me” is clearly a prayer built upon both these elements in the past. https: Never think to gain anything by paltering with duty. Psalm 27:8. 2. "Commentary on Psalms 27:8". To "breathe out" violence, threats, slaughter, malice, etc; is a common metaphor in many languages. Such echo of God’s word is very sweet, like the echo of music amongst the hills. The heart asked no excuse; pleaded for no delay; desired no reason for not complying with the command, but at once assented to the propriety of the law, and resolved to obey. Psalm 27 Commentary Verse 8. Word for word the invitation is repeated in the answer. (H. Melvill, B. D.), In the former verse David prays, “Hear, O Lord,” etc. Faith soliloquizes. It is not so with this momentous question. Faith hoping. Wherefore we may boldly say, "The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" But faith must always live above experience. https: III. SAINTS. Hosea 5:15 refers, like the passage before us, to the same expression: "I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction (verbatim from Deut.) According to the statement of the title, the psalm was written by David. It is to substitute an idol of fancy for the living God. He is speaking to you now, and His ear is close to your heart, listening to what it will say. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after. Psalms 25:3, and the comment ad loc.). But whoever closely examines David’s design will perceive that the text runs perfectly well. Light is revealing. But, for the present, I pray thee, have me excused.” And that is what we all are doing, more or less. As for the flesh, neither its weakness nor its corruptions should discourage us in our way to God. And the explanation was—they were wicked, and he was righteous. S. The nature of true religion. As always, so particularly now, the heart of the Psalmist in trouble is turned towards God, expecting deliverance from Him alone; and whoever is in such a state of mind is all the more sure of being delivered by God, inasmuch as His word commands us to seek Him in trouble, and promises that those who seek shall find Him. If there be various methods in and through which God is wont to make Himself audible to the human soul, we may take any or all of them as employed to syllable the words, “Seek ye My face.” As to the mode in which the psalmist replied, nothing need be said in explanation of that; the reply itself is the all important thing. The heart and mind must be fed and strengthened by constant converse with God in worship and holy thought. Go to, When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek. There is no "when" in the original. And the full meaning seems to he, "To thee said my heart—Hast thou said unto men, Seek ye my face? 8. The more ordinary signification of the phrase, “the face of God,” is the love and favour of God--“Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant.” “Cause Thy face to shine and we shall be saved.” How much, then, is implied in this simple bidding--“Seek ye My face”! This is a wise, humble, comprehensive prayer. The sun says to the planets, “Children”--for they are all children of the sun--“seek ye my face.” The planets reply, “We will; thy face will we seek. Ah! BibliographyWhedon, Daniel. His veracity, His unchangeableness, are pledged to this, that no man who yields to His invitation will be baulked of his desire. When experience coincides with our faith, then we are at our strongest. Upon which commandment (involving a promise) David seems to ground this speech of his. “Seek ye My face,”--not My Church, or Book, or ministers, but Me. The psalmist tails us of God’s invitation and of his acceptance, and on both he builds the prayer that the face which he had been bidden to seek, and had sought, may not be hid from him. But then verse 8 brings us right back to contentment with the Lord and seeking his face. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." It is the very echo of the call, like the echo of a trumpet amid mountains. “He never said to any, Seek ye my face in vain!”]. Like a waxwork figure moved by machinery, you may nod, and smile, and lift up your hands, and yet not have one iota of life. For Christ stands at the door, and knocks. "Commentary on Psalms 27:8". THE RESPONSES OF BELIEVING HEARTS TO GOD'S SELF-MANIFESTATION ARE VARIED AS THE EXPERIENCES OF LIFE. (Worthington). 1. Translation, "Oh, if I had not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" p. 61. 2. The whole gospel hinges on this. PERSONAL TRUST IN GOD, AS THE LORD OUR GOD AND OUR REDEEMER. Then, his face I will seek. 2. have rightly, ἠσθένησαν καὶ ἔπεσαν. They often fall strangely. Every godly person hath the duplicate of God’s law in his heart; and is willingly cast into the mould of his word, Romans 6:17. He does it, also, by his providence: all that he does for us in a way of mercy, is to stimulate us to love him; and his chastisements are to awaken us to our duty, saying, “Hear the rod, and him that hath appointed it.” He does it, also, by his Spirit; for conscience is his voice within us, “his still small voice,” whereby he whispers to us, and moves us, and “strives with us,” and “draws us to himself.” The whole creation, the heavenly bodies moving in their orbits, “the elements that fulfil his will,” the “birds which know their season,” and the beasts which acknowledge their Benefactor; the occurrences of every day, even the most common and casual, as the going to a well for water [Note: John 4:7; John 4:10. than "What is polite, worldly wise?" The light in which they ought to be regarded—. We know that God will not call us to confront an enemy that we cannot lay low, nor to bear a cross which we cannot carry, nor to endure a trial we cannot sustain, nor to do a work which we cannot perform. 1. Be the path what it may, those shall be safe who trust God's leading (Isaiah 35:8; Romans 8:28; Jude 1:24; Proverbs 15:19). There is not only the revelation of ourselves, but the revelation of God. FEARLESS DEVOTION TO THE SERVICE OF GOD, AS THE FREEST, THE RIGHT-FULLEST, AND THE MOST BLESSED OF ALL SERVICES. (Verse 14.) "Commentary on Psalms 27:4". Our past victories should inspire us for the future. When they are delivered in the plural they can be listened to with great composure. 1865-1868. In some things men move in masses without any realization of individual responsibility. Brown.). 4. He says it especially in the way and at the time that our heart is most disposed to hear it. This is an exhortation, not to others, but to himself (comp. Thy face, Lord, will I seek—A beautiful illustration of prevenient grace, and of the following of the obedient soul, is here given. All the beautiful objects in nature are only visible transcripts of some beautiful ideas which lay from all eternity in the mind of God. xiv., p. 1; H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. it is so easy to join in a general confession; the hard thing is to make the confession individual. See call of apostles (Luke 5:1-12). Psalm 27 is a familiar psalm that has two distinct parts. "In this" may be either "in the fact that the Lord is my Light and my Salvation" (Psalms 27:1), or "in case of such an event as war and attack on the part of the enemy.". (A. Maclaren, D. D.). I. But it is not in sovereignty only, it is in love, He has called you. And there was full resolve in it. It believes, and upon believing, it goes to God. (E. A. From such a sacrilege he would have shrunk. (Verse 8.) See Deuteronomy 4:19. BibliographyClarke, Adam. What then? Reply, almost an echo of call. (Verse 13; literally, "Had I not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living …") The sentence is unfinished. As a rule, the straight path in life is the plain path. The planets reply, "We will; thy face will we seek. Suspecting that some error had got into the text, for פני בקשו bakkeshu panay, "seek ye my face," I had substituted פניך אבקש abakkesh paneycha, "I will seek thy face;" or with the Vulgate and Septuagint, פניך בקשתי bakkesti paneycha, "I have sought thy face," exquisivit te facies mea, Εξεζητησα το προσωπον σου . Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. The words before us, whilst they describe the experience of David, will lead me to shew, I. “Port it is,” says the steersman. Ver. Being left to our own weakness; or distrusting, in the darkest path, God's leading (Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 43:2). 5:16 ). (C. H, Spurgeon.). The verb used is very strong and emphatic. He earnestly prays now for that in which he had just boasted. Religion establishes right relations between the soul and God. 3. Sin is put away as the legal obstacle to man's salvation. It asks for a double safeguard—Divine guidance and a plain path. Therefore the psalm discloses God's revelation of himself to his people of the olden time, and it is one in which believers now may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. ), I. the call that comes to you--“Seek ye My face.” Many reasons urge you to ‘listen to this call. "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Think of Christ then as the light of God's face, not as a name, not as a historical Person simply, but as the light of God's face for ever and ever, and therefore the light of the soul as the Opener of heaven's boundlessness in the soul. See, too, the personality of David’s reply, and hearty likewise. in this present world], then … " He shrinks from stating the consequences, He would have fainted, or despaired, or lost all faith in religion (compare, for similar uses of the figure aposiopesis, Genesis 3:22; Genesis 31:41; Genesis 50:15; Exodus 32:32; Daniel 3:15; Zechariah 6:15; Luke 13:9). Now this verse is a ground of that prayer, for God had said to him, “Seek My face,” and he had replied, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Note--. (Calmet) --- God causeth the good endeavours of the king for his subjects to prosper. When, &c.: or, "To thee, my heart, He hath said, "Seek thou My face"; Thy face, O Jehovah, will I seek". If we delay the response it is apt never to be made at all. Applying the truths of God, though generally spoken, to ourselves in particular, if we do not--as indeed it is the fault of the times to hear the Word of God loosely--we care not so much to hear the Word of God, as to hear the gifts of men. It was probably regarded as implied in Deuteronomy 4:29. So do we trust in God. Smiles and frowns and tears, the flash of pleasure or of anger, the softening of tender feeling, speak a language which all read intuitively. "Stand but your ground, your ghostly foes will fly. See the introduction. THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE. Reply. Verse six presents a key to understanding Psalm 1: “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” In this psalm, the way of the righteous and the way of … The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me. "Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 8.My heart said to thee. BECAUSE HE WAS IN DANGER FROM TWO CLASSES OF ENEMIES. ]; all subserve the same blessed end, to introduce us to the knowledge of his love, and to the enjoyment of his favour. 21:16, 2 Sa. FAITH IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD. It is not a message about which there can be no room for question as to its meaning and the manner in which it should be obeyed. Our passions, yielded to and indulged, are dangerous enemies. But is nevertheless the work of the Holy Spirit. Every promise carries in its bosom a duty; every duty, a promise. Till now the danger which threatens him is as prominent an object as the salvation and defence were before." 2. Our translators (and Revisers) have wisely preferred plain English to pedantic rigour, and have given as the probable meaning, "When thou saidst," etc. Thankful worship is another help. For, whether ye be in heaven or in hell, be assured that the divine favour will appear to you no light concern. The friend we have found faithful, we cleave to. Love that can see no fault is as blind as hate that can see no goodness. When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. THE LANGUAGE OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S COMMAND. 1. - When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. So says David here (verse 1). Psalms 27:8. IV. The translators have well supplied the blank. I. The seeking of the Lord, and the finding Him, are there placed in inseparable connection with each other. (Psalms 27:7-14) is sad and plaintive. 1. Then comes in the comfort and strength of thin prayer, "Teach me thy way!" We should have our hearts bent upon executing the commands of God. But why should God bid men seek Him? 2. We see ourselves as sinners, guilty and vile; we see God as a Saviour, and we trust him utterly (John 1:5; John 8:12; 1 John 1:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6). A face that wears the same bland meaningless smile to every one is intolerable. Everything which is really good in this world is the reflection of a great, original, perfect good, which lies far away out of sight: our happiness of its happiness, our holiness of its holiness, our love of its love. God is willing to be known. Make the general invitation thy very own. It should be our constant spirit, prompt to obey whenever God calls. More probably, however, in my opinion, it denotes a mutual conversation between God and the prophet. How is it that in these days the secrets of nature have been laid bare as never before? We have (1) God's address to man; (2) man's reply to God. THIS psalm is one of those which have been called "composite"; and certainly it falls into two parts which offer the strongest possible contrast the one to the other. "Sacrifices of joy," or "shouting," "singing praises,"—all mean grateful exercises of the heart towards God, recounting to ourselves what he has done for us in his wonderful goodness. 2. But the God whom we need and can know and love, comes to us in descriptions Cast in the mould of humanity, and loses none of His purely Spiritual essence thereby. For, what can the world do, either by its allurements or its terrors, to counterbalance the loss of the divine favour? This leads to a second question—. "There shines on him [the psalmist] a sun that sets not and knows no eclipse. If He bids us seek He binds Himself to show. BibliographyTorrey, R. A. "My heart said." Explicit. 5. There their eyes see "the King in his beauty." And why, in the midst of these discoveries, have so many keen eyes failed to find God? Unsolicited. Part 2. Psalms 26:8); to offer there "sacrifices of joy" (Psalms 27:6); to sing there psalms of thanksgiving. his pardoning mercy, the smile of his approval, the assurance of his loving-kindness, the happy, peaceful sense of his presence and care.
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