One thing have I asked 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 gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
There is one sure way to test what we treasure. Take it away.
Think about two or three things that you could not live without. It’s probably your spouse or children, if you have a family. It might be your job, if you love your job. It could be something as simple as coffee or the gym or Chipotle or the outdoors or shopping or sports. There are things we learn to need in this life, and we “need” them because of how much we enjoy them, because of how much we treasure them.
Satisfaction Without Safety
Psalm 27 is a psalm of longing after the Lord. You can feel the writer’s affection and desire throughout the thirteen verses (Psalm 27:4, 7–8, 13–14). These cries for more of God, though, come not in a typical, comfortable worship service, but in the context of desperation and oppression. David is surrounded by his enemies. He’s threatened on every side. Comfort, safety, and freedom — treasures for most of us — have been stripped away as he’s being chased and opposed everywhere he turns and everywhere he hides.
Fortunately, David’s heart — his treasure — didn’t rest in his circumstances here on earth. Even while he faced evil enemies more powerful than him and his army, he had his eyes set on one thing, and one thing alone. “One thing have I asked 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 gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). He knew what he wanted most — to see the beauty of God in his presence — and that clarity allowed him to let go of all kinds of things here and now.
And in this longing — again threatened on every side — he saw beyond his enemies and was actually able to celebrate in hope. “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” (Psalm 27:13). So this wasn’t just a matter of what David wanted. He knew that his God would deliver him through every battle before him. He fled and fought for his life in the confidence that he would live forever with his Heavenly Father, enjoying his infinite goodness without end. He would have his treasure.
Our Greatest Craving
The chorus of this song — and the chorus of Psalm 27 — says that the biggest, deepest craving we have is for God. The cry of every human heart is for the beauty of it’s Creator. He — God — is the only true source of lasting safety and satisfaction. Everything else, even the most precious people in our lives, will eventually pass away, but he and his goodness endure forever. Our greatest hope is knowing that we will stand before his face, fixated on his beauty, and — because he is so incredibly beautiful — never being able to see all of him in his fullness.
Do you find yourself needing God when time with him is taken away? When you haven’t been in his word or in prayer, is your heart pleading for more of him? Have your appetites and desires been shaped by what you believe about him? If God is more beautiful than anything or anyone, if he really is enough to satisfy us forever, we should be developing deeper and deeper cravings for him all the time. Ask him to show you more of himself now so that you’ll long more for the day when you will see him face to face.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14).