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TO CHEW ON: "One thing I have desired of the Lord;
That I will seek:
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 inquire in His temple." Psalm 27:4
"This desire of David gives us a key to understanding why he was a 'man after God's own heart,' and so beloved and blessed by Him" says Dick Iverson, writer of my Bible's commentary on the Psalms (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 706).
Several other Bible characters also come to mind when we think of people desiring to linger in God's presence.
Moses spent days on end with God ("So the Lord speaks to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend" Exodus 33:11). When he returned to everyday life from these times he covered his face with a veil to shield the Israelites' eyes from the glory that shone there (Exodus 34:29-35).
Simeon and Anna, two senior citizens of Jesus' day, seemed to have experienced that intimacy. Both were in the temple the day Jesus' parents presented Him to God. Of Simeon Luke says he was "… waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him … So he came by the spirit into the temple" (Luke 2:25,27). Similarly Anna, the elderly widow "… who did not depart from the temple but served God with fasting and prayer day and night" was there (Luke 2:37,38). To these two God told His secret, giving them a glimpse of Jesus—Messiah—and allowing them to hold Him, bless Him, and spread the news of Him (Luke 2:28-32,38).
And there was Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus. She sat at Jesus' feet, drinking in what He said and who He was while harried Martha fretted in the kitchen. When Martha complained and asked Jesus to put Mary to work, Jesus said, "'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'" - Luke 10:39-42.
The word "chosen" pops out at me (and, from our focus verse, "desire," "seek," "dwell," "behold," and "inquire"). For as spending time with God was an intentional choice for David, Moses, Simeon, Anna, and Mary, so it is for us. I ask myself, when given the array of ways to spend my minutes, hours, days, how much do I choose to spend with the Lord, beholding His beauty in the temple of His presence?
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to tune out the noise and clamor of my life and spend quality and quantity time with You. Amen.
New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.