Summary: One thing have I desired...

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Behold the Beauty of the Lord

Psalm 27:4

John Shearhart

April 10, 2011

If you could only ask the Lord for one thing what would it be?

Would you ask for better health?

…more money?

…a better job?

…longer life?

Would you ask for a bigger church?

…more friends?

…more patience?



Let’s read a Psalm of David to see what He asked from the Lord:

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 to enquire in his temple.

The “one thing” desired and sought is to dwell in the house of the Lord

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! 2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. 3Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. 4Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. 5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. 6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. 7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. 8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. 9Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. 10For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. 12O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee (Psalm 84:1-12).

You know, the more I think on the phrase “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good,” the more I dislike it. Could it be that we’re too earthly minded as it is? Could it be that being more heavenly minded we would seek and desire the presence of the Lord above and before all else?

The only desire we see in this Scripture is to worship in the house of God! One day in His courts is better than a thousand days anywhere else. It’s better to be a lowly servant keeping the door and never actually going fully in than to dwell as a master, comfortable and fat in the tents of the wicked.

Now David had the tabernacles in mind as the place of worship for Israel in his day. They worshiped in the courts, in the holy place, and in the most holy place.

We enjoy the fulfillment of all these things in Christ, who is our tabernacle, with our brethren who make up the assembly. For us, we don’t necessarily mean that we want to dwell in the 11:00 service all our lives, but we do mean that to worship the Lord through Christ with the brethren is the one thing we seek and desire! To dwell here is our one hope—our souls long for it and faint! Our hearts and flesh cry out!

The purpose of dwelling is to behold and seek after the Lord

Look at the verse again: 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 to enquire in his temple.

To behold Him is to gaze on Him. It isn’t just a simple act of noticing Him with your eyes but to look after Him with pleasure and delight.

I see people, but I behold my wife and children.

I see the sky, but I behold a sunset.

I see paint, but I behold art.

Imagine the way we behold our God!

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. 9But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. 11But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped (Psalm 63:1-11).

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