The Ups and Down of Life
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 27
Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. People that follow me will not walk in the dark. They will have the light of life". (John 8:12.) John was a friend of Jesus.
( ) ~ these words are not in the Hebrew Bible
LORD ~ a special word for God; only his people use it
tripped ~ nearly fell over
palace ~ the home of a king
tent ~ a small house made of animal skins
We do not know when David wrote Psalm 27. Some Christians believe that he wrote it in 2 parts. He wrote verses 1 - 6 when life was good. God was answering all his prayers. Perhaps it was after he had killed Goliath. (See Psalm 27:2 below). He wrote verses 7-12 when life was difficult He thought that God was hiding from him. Perhaps it was when Saul was fighting him. (See Psalm 27:12 below). He wrote verses 13-14 when he put the 2 parts together. Other Christians believe that David wrote it all at the same time. In the past God had been good to him. Why was God not good to him now? He would still believe in God and wait for his help. In Psalm 27 we learn that for David life had its ups and downs. The ups were the good times. The downs were the difficult times. This happens to us also. When life is difficult we must remember the good times. When we think that God has forgotten us, we must remember the times when he did not forget us. We must be like David in Psalm 27:14. We must wait for the Lord. One day he will give us help. If we believe this, it will make us strong.
Verse 1 – 3: "The Lord is my light" means many things. One is that he shows us what to do in life. "The LORD is my hiding place" means that when trouble comes the LORD will be with us in it. He will give us help to live through it, he will not leave us by ourselves. Verse 2 says that David thought that bad men (like animals) wanted to eat him. But these bad men fell down and they did not hurt David. Perhaps David remembered Goliath. Goliath said that he would feed David's body to the wild animals and birds. But David killed Goliath. David believed that because God gave him help in the past he will in the future. The same is true for us. Every time God gives us help we are more sure that he will give us help in the future.
Verse 4 – 6: Here are 4 words for where the LORD lives: house, palace, hiding place and tent. They are not 4 different places. They all describe where God is. For David it was either the tent with the ark in it, or heaven. The ark was where the Jews kept special things that made them think of God. Heaven is where God lives. If we are Christians then God lives in us. We are the house of God.
Verse 7 – 9: Here the psalm changes. In verses 1-6 life was good for David. Now life is difficult. David thinks that God has forgotten him. David prays to God, "Answer me". He thinks that he hears a voice inside him that says, "Look for my face". So David continues to pray. He says, "You gave me help in the past ~ do not forget me now".
Verses 10 – 12: Verse 10 tells us that David is sure that God will answer him one day. Even if his parents forget him, God will never forget him. In verses 11-12 David tells us that he has many enemies that want to hurt him. Some, as Cush in Psalm 7, tell lies about him. Lies are words that are not true. So David prays for a straight path. This means one that is safe.
Verses 13 – 14: This starts with something very strange. Verse 13 has no beginning. In Hebrew it is " . . . . . if I had not believed to see the goodness the LORD is in the land of the living". This is not a mistake, as some people think. It means that everyone that reads the psalm can put their own words in. What would happen to you if you did not believe in the Lord? But because you do believe in the Lord you are ready to wait for his answers. You may wait a long time, but be brave and strong. One day, God will answer you, if you believe in him.
This is how you can show Psalm 27 is one psalm and not two psalms. It is called the "vocabulary test". A vocabulary is a list of words. There are some special words in Psalm 27. Put where they are in the psalm into the list below. Do the special words come in both parts of the psalm?
Is it in Psalm 27:1-6?
Is it in Psalm 27:7-12?
© 2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)
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