If you could only ask God for one thing, what would it be? Would it be for fame, fortune, success? Would you ask for a husband, children, a place to call home? What would that one thing be?
In my Bible reading over the past few days, I have read and meditated upon Ps. 27. We have to understand that when David wrote this Psalm, commentaries believe Absalom, his own son was seeking to take his kingdom. He had turned the hearts of the people toward himself, they wanted him as king and David has fled out of the city. Yet, David begins this Psalm by stating, “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?” Despite what is happening in David’s life, He has determined He will trust in the Lord and believes no matter what is going on God is bigger. He goes on in verse three to say, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” David realizes that things are bad and that they could get worse. He knows Absalom and his men could attack him, yet David has placed his confidence in the Lord.
In verse four we find, the one thing David ask of the Lord. Now considering the situation, he might have asked for wisdom of what He should do. He could have asked for victory against Absalom. Yet, instead in verse four David says, “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.” David was a man after God’s own heart and the hand of the Lord was with Him. The Scriptures teach us that the Lord gave David victory in all he did. So, clearly David could have asked for a number of things, yet instead he ask to dwell in the presence of the Lord.
This was what mattered to him, not success, not victory, not fame or fortune. Not even the love and respect of his own son. Instead what mattered to David was God’s presence. We find out in verses 5 and 6, that David asked not for these other things, because He had confidence God would do these things. He knew the Lord would protect him, he knew the Lord would exalt him over his enemies, for He knew He was the Lord’s anointed. Verse eight, David says, “My heart says of you, Seek his face! Your face, Lord, I will seek!” Then David cries out for the Lord’s mercy. Not mercy to win the fight, not mercy for the Lord to help him. Yet mercy that the Lord would not turn away from him, that He would continue to dwell in His presence. David closes the Psalm by saying, ” I am still 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 for the Lord.”
Because David trusted in the Lord, He was confident in Him. Therefore, all David ask of the Lord is that He may dwell in his presence forever.
It seems many days my prayers are focused upon the things I want or feel I need. As I read this Psalm the Lord brought conviction upon my heart. Asking me, if I could ask the Lord for only one thing, what would it be? Would I ask for myself, my family or would I ask for His presence.
I listened to a sermon the other day concerning Moses and the Israelites. The Israelites had made the Lord angry and He has told Moses, You and the Israelites can enter the promised land and receive all the blessings of the land, but my presence will not go with you. The pastor asked this question. He said, how many of us just want the blessings and how many of us would want His presence? The Israelites could have gone into the promised land and enjoyed all the blessings the land had to offer. Or they could remain in the wilderness, wait, and enjoy God’s presence. Moses reply was, Lord if you don’t go with us, then don’t send us.” Moses understood the need and importance of God’s presence. He recognized that all the blessings in the world mattered not apart from God’s presence.
So I ask you, I ask myself? What is most important? What one thing do we want the most from the Lord? His blessings, His provisions? Or do we just want to be in His presence? I must say this is a very convicting question, one not to be taken lightly. As I close, I’m reminded of Mathew 6. The Bible tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto us.”
I think David understood this truth. He believed that as He sought after the Lord, as He sought the face of God and dwelled in His presence, that God would take care of everything else. He was confident of this, despite everything going on in his life. His confidence was in he Lord as He dwelled in the presence of the Lord.