Psalm 27 - Of David.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 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.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Devotional commentary from Beth Tays
“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…
…I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait fro the Lord.” v.4,13-14
I love King David’s heart in this passage. Time and time again throughout the psalms we see David’s tendency, no matter how grim the circumstances, to pause, look up and call upon the Lord — pulling into view again God’s faithfulness, love, promises, power and presence. He remembers who he is and Whose he is. He looks up and he leans in to the heart of God, taking shelter in his presence.
In this psalm, we catch a glimpse of the love, delight and hunger David has for the presence of the Lord. For David, God’s very presence was his One Thing — his single priority and desire. A ‘take the world but give me Jesus’ type of thing. There was nothing he longed for more.
I learned recently that the root word and meaning for priority is only always singular. How funny that we, especially in the West, are so good at having many priorities. If you were to draw up a list of your current priorities right now I’m sure, if you’re like me, there’d be at least a solid10 items there. This both amuses and troubles me! What would we get if we cut through our task lists, distilled our great ambitions and highest hopes? If we could boil it all down to one thing — the purpose, desire and delight of our lives — what would it be I wonder?
I’m reminded and encouraged in this psalm to come to a place, return to a place, where my soul delights in the Lord. Where I hunger after him and long just to stand in his presence and gaze upon his beauty. I hear in this psalm an invitation to us all to lean into the loving, tender heart of Jesus; to allow our hearts to delight in him; to love his presence; to let our lives be changed by his glory; to let Jesus be our One Thing.
We read further on about seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land the living. I love the connection to both these parts of the passage. How we long to see more of God’s kingdom come here and now in our time and place. How we long to see lives changed, transformed, renewed and restored. How we long not only for heaven, but to see the goodness and glory of God here and now on the earth in these days. As counterintuitive as it may seems to us in our busy lives and good and great passion to see change in our world today, the most powerful, faithful and indeed best place to start, is in the very presence of Jesus. To dwell with him there. To keep our eyes fixed on him.
Lets pray for a hunger in our hearts for the presence of God in our lives. May Jesus be our One Thing.
Beth is from sunny California originally but has lived in Belfast for the last 17 years. She helps lead 24-7 Prayer Ireland.