Summary: God is beautiful and majestic. How do we examine our attitude toward life and toward God? King David gives us some insights from his life and poetry.
The Beauty and Majesty of God - Psalm 27:1-5 - February 15, 2015
As his parents watched from the patio, a little boy played baseball by himself in the back yard. Of course this amounted to tossing a ball into the air and attempting to hit it with his bat.
As he did so he proclaimed to no one in particular, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!" Unfortunately, he missed the ball and, since he was the umpire too, regretfully announced, "Strike one."
Undaunted the little fellow picked up the ball, threw it back into the air and said, "I’m the greatest baseball hitter ever!"
With even greater intensity he swung the bat but all he caught was air for his efforts. "Strike two," he said. The boy paused a moment, examined the bat and ball carefully, and then for a third time threw the ball into the air.
"I’m the greatest hitter in the history of baseball," he said. This time he swung for all he was worth, but just like the other two attempts, he missed. "Strike three," he mumbled.
Then the boy sat for a moment considering what had just happened. After a minute or so, he turned to his parents and much to their surprise said, "Wow, I just struck out the greatest hitter in the world! I must be the greatest pitcher of all time."
Attitude really matters, doesn’t it? It can make the difference between a good day and a bad day, a good marriage and a bad marriage, perhaps even a good life and a bad life.
Chu55ck Swindoll says, "Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it."
This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and it’s the day that the season of Lent begins. The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare, through prayer, confession, almsgiving and self-denial for the experience of Holy Week, which of course comes to a glorious end on Easter Sunday.
I discovered recently that this period of time is referred to in the Tagalog language as the “Beloved Days”. Lent can be a good time to intentionally draw near to God, the Lover of our souls.
I thought that today, we could begin our consideration of this season of preparation with a meditation on both our attitude toward life and toward God, and to consider Who it is that we want to draw nearer to during this time.
Whether or not we plan to observe Lent by giving up something that we cherish, as a discipline of self-denial, it is good to consider Who it is we approach this time of year in worship, and, really, what attitude do we come with when we worship the Lord.
King David is a worthy Biblical character to look at when we consider our attitude, what we bring with us, to life and to worshipping God.
[Show Psalm 27:1-3] David throughout his life, but particularly in this psalm, had a vision of God, of God’s power to save, to enlighten the heart, to be that sure foundation in his life.
He knew that God was his place of safety, protection, refuge - God was the stronghold of his life. When bad things happened to David, and they did, David did not blame God.
He didn’t see his suffering or the injustice he experienced as evidence of God’s absence. David was wise enough to blame evil men for their actions, and in doing that, David kept a place in his heart wide open to God. “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident”.
In this psalm David celebrates all of the benefits of walking with God that he experienced. He expresses his deep assurance of God’s presence which gives him huge confidence in his life.
And then he adds this beautiful phrase: “One thing I ask of the Lord, 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”.
Dwell, Gaze, Seek
David loved God. His heart really wanted only one thing, after all was said and done. He wanted to dwell, to gaze and to seek.
David wanted to live his whole life before God. He wanted to dwell with him.
You might think that David is talking about heaven, about being with God in heaven, but notice he says: ‘I want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life...’
I’ve been reading through the Bible again this year as I usually do...usually takes me 16-18 months to do so. And before David shows up in the Bible, there’s all kinds of experiences that other Biblical characters have with God.