Psalms 27:4 – “One thing I ask of the Lord, and this is what I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple.”
In one of our gatherings with new college students, we started with an ice-breaker; a question, “If you are to have one last meal, what would you pick? What will be your favorite food that you want to have one last time?” The answers were funny and surprising. It ranged from mother’s home cooked food to some exotic food one had a long time ago.
What if we ask a similar question for our spiritual walk. “If we are to ask one thing from the Lord, what you will ask of the Lord?” What will be your answer? Will that be a wisdom, strength, some physical or emotional healing or some special blessing for your life? In Psalm 27:4, David summarizes his quest, his pursuit of God in this one prayer. So what is his prayer?
There are three aspects of his prayers:
- That he may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life:
To dwell in the house of the Lord is to be in the presence of God. in Old testament, God’s presence resided in the temple of God. So David’s desire is to be in a continuous, close presence of God all the days of his life.
- To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord:
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord is to witness the glory of God. There is nothing more glorious than the glory of God. We often marvel at the physical things that we see, but when we experience the glory of God, our lives will be changed forever.
- To seek Him in His temple:
Seeking God in his temple is to seek God and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
So to summarize, David’s prayer in Psalms 27:4 is
- Ever increasing Presence of God
- All compassing Glory of God
- All consuming pursuit of God and his righteousness
So, Is this a unique request in the bible or do we see another similar requests from people of God?
We find a similar request from Moses as well. When God told Moses to lead the Israelite to the promised land in the wilderness. This is what Moses asked Lord. (check out Life of Moses- character study)
Exodus 33:12 -23
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
These two great men of God were not perfect, they made mistakes, committed sin that cost them dearly (Numbers 20:8-13), (2 Samuel 11:1-15). Yet, they were considered giants of faith. David is called a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), Moses is called a “man who spoke to God face to face” (Exodus 33:11). There lives were defined by their pursuit for God.
What about you? What is the most important thing in your life? What is that “one” aspect of your life that defines you and put everything else into perspective? What will be your “One” Prayer to the Lord?
If you are blessed with this Bible study, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook or your preferred social media network. Thank you!
—Amit Christian (BibleSEO Editor)