Today we continue with a series based on Psalm 27. I spoke on this Psalm’s theme, and especially verse 4, for the Watford church of Christ. We are part-way through a series based on the “one thing” phrases found in the Scriptures.

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend listening to the first episode which covers some background thoughts on the context of the Psalm.

Now, on to today’s verse.

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NIV11)

“The men of one idea are irresistible. The arrowy stream will force its way through the toughest soil. See that all the prayers, incidents, and circumstances of life subserve one intense purpose. String all the beads on one thread. When the eye is single, the whole body is full of light.” Daily Homily, F. B. Meyer

* ‘one thing..ask…seek’’
* Hearing him say ‘one thing I want’, we would expect him to say something connected with reclaiming his status, wife, livelihood, citizenship. But no.
* ‘although David was banished from his country, despoiled of his wife, bereft of his kinsfolk; and…dispossessed of his substance, yet he was not so desirous for the recovery of these, as he was grieved and afflicted for his banishment from God’s sanctuary, and the loss of his sacred privileges.’ Calvin
* His desire to be close to God is very active – ‘ask’, ‘seek’ X2, ‘dwell’, ‘gaze’.

* ‘dwell’ used of a married couple who have set up house together.
* “Figuratively, David prays that he, too, may dwell in God’s house/temple. He surely does not ask for a change in God’s law whereby he, a non-priest, could enter (indeed, dwell in) the temple. So it is a state of blessedness for which he prays, that he might always be in God’s favour.” TWOT, 493
* How ‘dwell’ constantly?
* An ‘ear worm’
* An underlying state – almost subconscious
* When a married couple or family, good friends know what each other is thinking. Comes from many hours together and sharing of hearts
* Our awareness of God not meant to be ‘coagulated’ into small spaces of each day or week. Meant to be a constantly running stream.
* Breaking the separation of sacred and secular – as Jesus does for us by tearing the veil.

* The ‘beauty’ of the LORD is not simply physical but the beauty of God’s nature. Can also be translated ‘favour’, or ‘pleasantness’, Ps 90.17, Zech 11.7-14.
* A good quiet time could be to meditate on what is ‘beautiful’ about the LORD. Would that include His holiness, mercy, long-suffering nature, loving-kindness, integrity, justice, completeness, perfection, wisdom, …..?
* ‘Beauty has transformative power. Have you ever noticed that whether it comes from music, a painting, or a face, beauty affects us? It can lighten our faces and cause us to sigh with delight. Just a little bit, it beautifies us. But the beauty of Christ is something more. It comes and completely transforms us, all the way down. No one else is like this. No one else has this sort of transformative power in their beauty. Christ’s beauty is perfect and eternal, and it’s ours to seek and to see.’ Starke, John. The Possibility of Prayer . InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

* ‘seek him’ – preoccupation with God; dwell, gaze, seek.
* The Hebrew word used here (baqar) literally means to plow into.
* A characteristic of discipleship and worship.

What are the lessons from this verse?
i. Putting our requests to God is right and proper. But the first request above all others is the desire to be with God more than receive things from God.
ii. When our world is disturbed like David’s, our priority is to seek and gaze on God more than solve our problems.

We will conclude today’s podcast with the song I wrote using the words of Psalm 27 verse 4.

Next week we will proceed to the fifth verse of the Psalm. In the meantime, please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm