Psalm 27:4 ‘One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after.’

February 4, 2018 by David Farmer 0 comments

Posted in: Weekly Commentary

Psalm 27:4

‘One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after.’

The entirety of this fourth verse of the 27th Psalm is as follows:

One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of Jehovah, And to inquire in his temple.

Now this is a most God-honoring prayer. Well could we ascribe David’s best-known song, Psalm 23, as containing our heavenly Father’s answer to this request from ‘the  man after God’s own heart,’ where David was able, in wonderfully blest happiness, and according to his God-given faith, to conclude that song with the inimitable and ‘famous’ words, I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever. Surely, it is well worth our time to be reminded of anticipated blessings in Psalm 23:

Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou has anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever.

If it is not to be guilty of anachronistic behavior, we are supposing (imagining) that Psalm 27 is a record of the prophet and king uttering his prayer that he might dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of his life some time before the recorded affirmation of the answer given in psalm 23 that ‘surely….I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever. This prayer which he very likely uttered over and again frequently. Is it not imitated by the people of God in every generation even unto our day? And did not our Champion Himself grant to His people an answer to the prayer when He spoke to His disciples—and through them unto us—those equally lovely and beautifully encouraging and most inspiring words of promise while He was advising them (John 14:1-4) of His soon departure from them:

Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know the way.

When Thomas complained, in response, (or, at least, argued), ‘we don’t know the way; how are we supposed to know the way?’ Jesus answered him with one of those great I AM’s. In fashion similar to His response to Martha earlier with regard to the matter of the resurrection, when she failed to understand what He had said to her, He pointed out to her, Martha, Martha, I am the resurrection, and the life. Here, to one of His disciples, He says, Thomas, Thomas, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

And this is recorded in the Scriptures for our understanding as well as for His early disciples. Jesus Christ is the Way. If we would have our prayer answered, we are to follow Him; He will lead us to His Father’s house that we may be with Him where He is, that we may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of our life. We are to follow the Lamb whithersoever He leads. And with what means does the Good Shepherd lead His sheep? Even as His rod and staff comfort us on the way, so we are guided by His Word and Spirit in the way. David asserts that he had asked of Jehovah that he might dwell in His house all his days; that he might be thus enabled to behold His beauty; that he might be granted all his days to make inquiry in His temple. This is what he insists that he is seeking after. The way that he did seek after these expressed desires was to ask God for them. He has expressly informed us of this fact in the 8th verse of our psalm, saying:

Hear, O Jehovah, when I cry with my voice: Have mercy upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Jehovah, will I seek.

If we truly desire to dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of our life. If we wish sincerely to behold His beauty and to inquire of Him in His temple evermore, we cannot be strangers toward Him in our sojourn here. We must seek His face.

Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit, the Comforter after Him, to indwell us; to show us the face of our Lord in His Word:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine.                  —John 16:13-15

To the law and the testimony; to the Word and the Spirit, let us fly. We open the Book with faith’s dependence resting upon the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself to guide us in the Way. Nevertheless, we are reminded here again of the words of our focus passage; One thing I have asked of Jehovah. Our Father and our God would have us to ask of Him the desires of our hearts. Though He knows them, He is pleased by our coming to Him in prayer to set those needs and desires before Him. We have the privilege of inquiring in His temple now, in this time, until that time when we find ourselves beholding the beauty of Jehovah face to face according to His grand promises given. Faith is to appropriate these promises in these days.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah in the land of the living. Wait for Jehovah: Be strong, and let thy heart take courage; Yea, wait thou for Jehovah.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church

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