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One Thing

“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” (Psalm 27:4). This Psalm is a declaration of King David’s triumphant faith and love for God.

David had adjusted his life to one top priority. He states, “One thing I have desired of the LORD.” How does this “concept” apply to you and me, today? Like David, could one of our top priorities in life is to go to the house of God for worship, praise, and thanksgiving whenever church services are convened?

In this Psalm, it is obvious that David is expressing his longing and hunger for the divine presence of Almighty God. David’s “one thing” was not actually seeking something from God. Absolutely not. Instead, his desire was to “dwell in the house of the Lord.” God’s sanctuary is where the Divine presence is. The fact that David expressed “One thing I have desired of the Lord” means other desires he may have paled in comparison to this one desire.

Interestingly, Psalm 84, not written by David, is a striking similarity to David’s desire in Psalm 27. Written by “the sons of Korah.” Psalm 84 reads, “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young—Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts. My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You” (Psalm 84:1-4). These verses seem to summarize the blessedness of "dwelling" in the house of God.

J. Vernon McGee appropriately wrote, “This is the one thing that was the aim of David’s life. “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and inquire in His temple.” In the house of God was the mercy seat. David needed mercy, and I need mercy—and I am sure you do also. In the house of God was an altar that spoke of the cross of Christ. This provided for David access into the presence of God” (Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee. Vol. II. Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville p. 720).

“To behold the beauty of the LORD; and to inquire in His temple.” The beauty of the Lord must have meant everything to David. Nothing else seemed to compare. Being in God’s presence, David would experience the unparalleled beauty, splendor, majesty, and glory of God. Moses wrote, “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us” (Psalm 90:17).

David also expressed his thirst for God while he was in the wilderness of Judah. He prayed, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory” (Psalm 63:1,2). Clearly, David had a heart for God. Not surprising God declared of him, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22). This should be truly said of us? God's will and purpose is that we do not neglect worshipping Him in His earthly sanctuary--the Church. It is of utmost importance that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ gather for corporate worship, service, and encouragement. It is a God honoring vital aspect of our faith. Let us be prepared to do God’s will.

David was earnest in his desire for God’s presence. Psalm 27 is all about worshipping the “Most High” God and is undoubtedly a very touching and beautiful Psalm. It is a most inspiring Psalm that puts in God’s children a thirst and longing for His holy and divine presence.