Psalm 27:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 27:11, NIV: "Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors."

Psalm 27:11, ESV: "Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies."

Psalm 27:11, KJV: "Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies."

Psalm 27:11, NASB: "Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes."

Psalm 27:11, NLT: "Teach me how to live, O LORD. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me."

Psalm 27:11, CSB: "Because of my adversaries, show me your way, LORD, and lead me on a level path."

What does Psalm 27:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Here, David prays for guidance from the Lord. Scripture often compares obtaining godly knowledge to smoothing out a path (Proverbs 3:6; 11:5; Isaiah 26:7). The Bible warns that what sometimes seems like the right way can lead to disaster (Proverbs 14:12). That's true in both spiritual and earthly situations. In this case, David's prayer seems to cover both aspects. While he routinely prayed for guidance and wisdom (Psalm 25:4), here David is praying for a future free from literal traps and ambushes.

If David had relied on his own military skill and cunning, he would have risked destruction because his enemies were waiting to pounce on him. However, he chose to rely on the Lord to lead him along the correct path. Believers live in a world hostile to God and His followers (John 16:33), so we need to follow David's example and acknowledge God as our guide through life.

Proverbs 3:5–6 counsels us specifically not to lean on our own understanding but in all our ways we ought to acknowledge God, and He will give us straight paths. He will not always provide a luxurious, comfortable path, but He always leads us in the right way (Psalm 23:4; 107:7; John 16:33).