Psalm 27:4-6a One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me.
We’ve just finished a fun and much-needed holiday season; I hope that you indeed enjoyed it. Every year when the holidays come around, like many people I really enjoy the environment created by the season. I enjoy the weather (although now I live in TX), the sweet treats, the lights, and the smiles. While I enjoy the season for many reasons, there is one thing that I truly desire around Christmas & New Year is Egg Nog; much to the chagrin of my wife. I used the term desire because it is defined as a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. I have strong feelings of wanting the Egg Nog and wishing for something to happen so I can get some for myself. It causes me to go seeking after it and spending money in order to obtain it. My desire in this case played a heavy role in my behavior.
Now in the spirit of continuing our deep dive into David, the one known to be the Man After God’s Own Heart, let’s look into what it is that David desired. In this 27th Psalm, David uses the same word desire, however, its meaning is completely different. This Hebrew word sa’al (shael), actually means to inquire or to request. Much different than the strong urging I had for my sweet nectar; David is asking God for something. David is inquiring about something very important from the Lord, so let’s dig into David’s Desire a little deeper.
- To Live with the Lord: One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life. David is seeking to dwell, or inhabit, or abide with the Lord in His home. He is seeking to be wherever God is and I believe that is one of the things that sets him apart from so many others. David desires to be with God all the days of his life. Every second, every minute, every hour. While many just want to spend an hour with him on Sunday, maybe a few minutes during the week. I see why this attitude is so pleasing to the Lord, His son is desiring to be with him all the time. Being with Jesus that much means that David is opening his entire life to the Lord’s (Jesus’) presence. This level of transparency requires changes to bad habits, unhealthy attitudes, and dysfunctional behavior. Are you willing to open yourself up to Jesus? Because His love will not allow us to remain the same.
- To Behold the Lord’s Beauty: To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. While David desired to open himself up to the Lord, he also desired to see the Lord’s beauty. However, it goes beyond just seeing, the word behold or “haza” is to see, to perceive, prophesy. Therefore, David asks to see His beauty; to notice, observe and appreciate the beautiful savior; to receive revelation from the Lord’s beautiful plan for him. David was seeking the beautiful face, heart and soul of the Lord, ultimately gaining God’s insight and perspective. What a beautiful thing.
- To Hide in the Lord: For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me. The last thing I want to look at is David’s desire to find protection in the Lord. We talked earlier about God’s Hiding Place, and David is revisiting God’s protective nature. Here he talks about being protected in time of trouble. The Lord’s secret hiding place is labeled His pavilion or His tabernacle. The interesting thing that I noticed was that His hiding place was not a castle or a fortress, but a much more easily mobile space. Both the are pavilion (hut, lair or booth) and tabernacle (tent) are portable; able to be moved, shifted and transformed. The tabernacle is actually symbolic of wilderness life; meaning David and each of us often lives our lives in the wilderness trying to get to green pastures.
David’s Desire really shows us how a seemingly simple request can draw us so close to the Lord Jesus. His desire to be open and transparent with Jesus the Healer, who will not allow us to stay the same, gives us the opportunity to be healed and changed in His presence. David’s desire to gain insight and perspective from the Lord gives us a chance to observe the beauty of Jesus. And the desire David shares for feeling protected while out in the wilderness is something that we all should be able to relate to as we live out life as a Christian in today’s world. And if you’ve not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, what a beautiful opportunity to see that you can welcome Jesus into your heart today and begin to live with the Lord and see His beauty as He’s hiding you in the secret place of His tabernacle (Just ask Jesus to come in…He desires to live in you).