Psalm 27:4-5 meditation. Part of series in preparation for Yom Kippur.
I hear it often and have said it myself, “If I just had ______________, I’d be happy.” Maybe it is a large sum of money. Maybe to be debt-free, or a particular model car. Maybe it is to be in better shape, or better looking. Maybe it is a spouse, or particular someone. Or, a title, position, business, etc… The list is endless. For each person, the perceived want/need is different.
The Psalmist asks for ONE thing, and it is the one thing we all should be asking for!
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 meditate in His temple.
We are created by an Elohim for the purpose of bring Him glory and displaying His glory. Nothing else that we do or have will fill us in the way that walking according to His purpose will. All other needs and wants simply cannot compete. Money, relationships, position, title, assets, etc… ALL will lose their luster and eventually be destroyed by fire. Only our relationship with the King will last.
The Psalmist’s desire may sound three-fold, like he is granted one wish but sneaking three requests in, but the reality is that they are all related and intertwined. In the house of Yehovah is where we behold His beauty and meditate on Him. Most of us have thought of this as a metaphor, yet when David wrote this, he was thinking of the Temple, the holy place and the visible awesome shekinyah.
Today, few stop to consider that there will be a physical Temple again and the Prince will oversee Temple worship! Just read Ezekiel 43-44 for the central context of the whole temple prophesy of chapters 40-48! In a very literal sense, we should all seek to dwell in the house of the Lord, but Ezekiel’s future Temple prophesy tells us something fascinating and scary:
Ezekiel 44:13 And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14 Yet I will [h]appoint them [i]to keep charge of the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it.
There will be some who know the King, but are not allowed to come near. Imagine that. In the kingdom, but at arms length.
David, who wrote Psalm 27 also wrote Psalm 24 wherein he says,
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
He understands that the definition of ‘clean hands and pure heart’ from Scripture is obedience to God’s everlasting covenant (Torah). He further demonstrates that he understands that obedience is what is required to ascend Zion. (Yes, in the Messiah we have grace when we fail/sin, however that doesn’t free us to be willfully sinful. Rather it should encourage us to learn the ways of the Messiah and walk as He walked.)
So what does this seeming aside in Psalm 27 have to do with the request for protection in the verses both preceding and following the expressed desire to seek the Lord in His Temple?
God, in His blessings for covenant obedience, promises to provide and protect for those who obey ‘all that I command you this day.’ The Psalmist knows that if he is dwelling the house of the Lord, he is walking in covenant obedience. If he were disobedient, he would not even be allowed in the house, never mind receive the protection and provision of the Head of the House. We see the Psalmist making the connection when he writes,
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle (sukkah); In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
Obedience leads to protection. But, he speaks of protection on a particular day… Is ‘the day of trouble’ and allusion to ‘the day of the Lord’ or the ‘time of Jacob’s troubles?’ Hmmm…. More interesting is that in the same line the phrase translated ‘in His tabernacle’ actually says ‘in a shelter/tabernacle.’ Is it a reference to the wilderness, sukkoting under the protection of the King while all disobedient ones are being dealt with?
Consider the larger context. This is a plea for salvation and protection during a most difficult time period.
Revelation tells us that the ones the enemy is after are those who have the testimony of Yeshua AND keep the commandments of God. See Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 15:3 (Moses/Lamb); etc..
Here, we see clearly why the sages selected this Psalm during Elul and the days of repentance prior to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, also the Day of Judgment. We seriously need to consider our walk. We are thankful for our Messiah and His shed blood, but we must understand that we still have covenant responsibilities! Those begin with obedience.
Much, much more to ponder and dig out here, but it is a meditation. I’ll let you meditate on it. ask the Spirit to open your heart and eyes and grant you understanding that you might gaze on his beauty and enter into the House of the Lord when that time arises.
Marinate in this beautiful rendition of Psalm 27:4 by Sons of Korah.