Psalm 27:9
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.
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(9) Far.—This is unnecessary and misleading.

Psalm 27:9. Hide not thy face far from me — Which, in obedience to thy command, I am now seeking. Let me never want the reviving sense of thy favour; love me, and give me to know that thou lovest me. Put not thy servant away in anger — Namely, from thy face or presence, or from the place of thy worship. Two ways God and he might be parted, either by God’s withdrawing himself from him, which he might do even in the place of his worship; or by God’s putting him away from the place of his worship. Against the first he seems to pray in the first clause, and against the latter in this.

27:7-14 Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, Seek ye my face; but we must apply it to ourselves, I will seek it. The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favour of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God's time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Saviour, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer.Hide not thy face far from me - Compare the notes at Psalm 4:6. To "hide the face" is to turn it away with displeasure, as if we would not look on one who has offended us. The favor of God is often expressed by "lifting the light of his countenance" upon anyone - looking complacently or "pleasedly" upon him. The reverse of this is expressed by hiding the face, or by turning it away. The word "far" introduced by the translators does not aid the sense of the passage.

Put not thy servant away in anger - Do not turn me off, or put me away in displeasure. We turn one away, or do not admit him into our presence, with whom we are displeased. The psalmist prayed that he might have free access to God as a Friend.

Thou hast been my help - In days that are past. This he urges as a reason why God should still befriend him. The fact that He had shown mercy to him, that He had treated him as a friend, is urged as a reason why He should now hear his prayers, and show him mercy.

Leave me not - Do not abandon me. This is still a proper ground of pleading with God. We may refer to all His former mercies toward us; we may make mention of those mercies as a reason why He should now interpose and save us. We may, so to speak, "remind" him of His former favors and friendship, and may plead with Him that He will complete what He has begun, and that, having once admitted us to His favor, He will never leave or forsake us.

9. Hide not, &c.—(Ps 4:6; 22:24). Against rejection he pleads former mercy and love. Hide not thy face; which I in obedience to thy command am now seeking.

Put not thy servant away, to wit, from thy face or presence, or from the place of thy worship, from which he either now was or formerly had been driven. Two ways God and he might be parted; either by God’s departure or withdrawing from him, which he might do even in the place of his worship; or by God’s putting him away from his presence. Against the first he seems to direct his prayer in the first clause, and against the latter in this.

Hide not thy face far from me,.... Yea, not at all from him; for the word "far" is not in the text: this is sometimes the case of the best of men, and was of the psalmist at times, and might be now, notwithstanding his strong expressions of faith and joy in the preceding verses; for frames are very changeable things; and this case is consistent with the everlasting and unchangeable love of God to his people; though they are ready to impute it to wrath and anger, and is what is very cutting and grievous to them; and therefore deprecate it as the psalmist does here,

put not thy servant away in anger; either cast him not away from thy presence, as being angry with him, though there is just reason for it; or suffer him not to go away angry, fretting and murmuring: he makes mention of his relation to God as a servant, as he was; not only by creation as a man, and by his office as a king, but by efficacious grace as a converted man; and this only as descriptive of himself, and as acknowledging his dependence on the Lord, and his obligation to him; but not as a reason why he should be regarded by him, for he knew he was but an unprofitable servant;

thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me: which request, as the rest, he might put up in faith; for God will not leave his people destitute of his presence finally and totally; nor to themselves and the corruptions of their hearts, nor to the temptations of Satan; nor will he forsake the work of his hands, the work of grace upon their hearts; or so forsake them as that they shall perish: and that the Lord would not leave nor forsake him in such sense, the psalmist had reason to conclude; since he had been his help in times past, a present help in time of trouble; and his arm was not shortened, his power was the same to help as ever, and so were his inclination and will; since he could also call unto him, and upon him, as follows:

O God of my salvation; the author both of his temporal, spiritual, and eternal salvation; and what might he not hope for from him? salvation includes all blessings, both for soul and body, for time and eternity.

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.
9. Hide not thy face from me (R.V.). A prayer grounded on the divine promise which he has obeyed. Cp. Psalm 22:14.

put not &c.] Or, turn not, like the unjust judge who turns the needy from his right (Job 24:4; Isaiah 10:2; Luke 18:1 ff.).

in anger] See note on Psalm 6:1.

thou hast been my help] An appeal to past experience. Surely God cannot have changed.

leave me not] R.V., cast me not off (Psalm 94:14; 1 Kings 8:57).

Verse 9. - Hide not thy face far from me. It would he useless for David to "seek God's face," if God should determine to "hide his face" from him. David felt from time to time as if God's face was hidden from him, as we see in other psalms (Psalm 10:1; Psalm 13:1; Psalm 69:17, etc.); and so also did other saints (Psalm 44:24; Psalm 88:14). In most instances, probably, God sends the feeling as a chastisement, that the heart may turn with more sincerity to him. Put not thy servant away in anger; i.e. reject me not - cast me not off. The verb used is very strong and emphatic. Thou hast been my Help. Ever in the past I have had thee for Helper (comp. Psalm 3:3-7; Psalm 4:1; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 18:2, etc.). God's goodness to us in the past must ever be our chief ground of confidence in him for the future. Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation (comp. Psalm 94:14). Psalm 27:9The requests are now poured forth with all the greater freedom and importunity, that God may be willing to be entreated and invoked. The Hiph. הטּה signifies in this passage standing by itself (cf. Job 24:4): to push aside. The clause עזרתי היית does not say: be Thou my help (which is impossible on syntactical grounds), nor is it to be taken relatively: Thou who wast my help (for which there is no ground in what precedes); but on the contrary the praet. gives the ground of the request that follows "Thou art my help (lit., Thou has become, or hast ever been) - cast me, then, not away," and it is, moreover, accented accordingly. Psalm 27:10, as we have already observed, does not sound as though it came from the lips of David, of whom it is only said during the time of his persecution by Saul, that at that time he was obliged to part from his parents, 1 Samuel 22:3. The words certainly might be David's, if Psalm 27:10 would admit of being taken hypothetically, as is done by Ewald, ֗362, b: should my father and my mother forsake me, yet Jahve will etc. But the entreaty "forsake me not" is naturally followed by the reason: for my father and my mother have forsaken me; and just as naturally does the consolation: but Jahve will take me up, prepare the way for the entreaties which begin anew in Psalm 27:11. Whereas, if כי is taken hypothetically, Psalm 27:11 stands disconnectedly in the midst of the surrounding requests. On יאספני cf. Joshua 20:4.
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