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 PSALM 27:4

"One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

David, A man after God's Own Heart!

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

LESSON 1:

Today we begin a focus on one single Verse of Scripture! And what an outstanding Verse it is!

Well, on further thought, once we've investigated the overall "context," much more than a Verse will have been surveyed!

Here we go.

"One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4

David said this.

But contemporary liberal theology does not treat David so well! Consistently twisting the Scriptures, these foolish self-appointed "scholars" even doubt that David truly uttered the words of our Text!

But he did!

Here's one way we know, too!

Psalm 27, in its very "superscript," the notation written above verse one, clearly informs us, "A Psalm of David."

That's good enough for me!

Enemies of the Scriptures tell us that Psalm 27:4 is not characteristic of the real King David! Of course, this is the same crowd who looks for the real Jesus too! The "historical" Jesus, they call Him! As opposed to the Jesus of "faith!"

Well, there is only one real Jesus! He is the Jesus of the Bible! The Jesus of Matthew and Mark and Luke and John and Paul! The Jesus revealed to us by the Holy Spirit of God!

The Virgin-born Jesus Who lived a sinless Life!

Then died a vicarious Death on the Cross of Calvary!

All to save sinners!

Anyone wishing to destroy that Jesus faces ultimate failure! Truly, a no-win situation! "And whosoever shall fall on this Stone (Jesus) shall be broken: but on whomsoever It (Jesus) shall fall, It will grind him to powder." Matthew 21:44

And there is only one King David too!

The Biblical one!

The one who, revealing his very heart, spoke "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

Some Bible skeptics have even "interpreted" the young David, the one who defeated the giant Goliath, as a "smart-aleck!" A "show-off!" A literal ego-maniac!

These same people also try to "wrest" the Bible, using Simon Peter's verb from 2nd Peter 3:16, into saying that King David "showed himself" immodestly the day He was retuning the Ark of The Covenant to Jerusalem from the house of Obededom. "And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod." They say this ephod was merely a scant piece of clothing! And they say wrongly, too!

Listen to me.

King David was not always what he should have been!

That's certain!

But he ultimately always had a heart for God!

A voluminous appetite for the holy!

He was a "one thing" kind of man!

And that one thing was not himself!

Nor was it exhibitionism!

Or human assertiveness!

David's "one thing" was ... "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple." Yes, that One Thing was ...  the Lord!

The opening word in Psalm 27:4 is "echad." It means a "single" thing! The "main" thing! The "first" thing!

David wants to "know" God!

To worship Him in all His Beauty!

As a number "echad" appears in the fifth verse of the Bible! "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." Genesis 1:5

But used in its limiting sense, "echad" waits until Genesis 27:38 to appear. "And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept." Only one blessing could be pronounced!

David longs for the Almighty God!

He "hungers" for the Divine Presence!

Such a man cannot be stopped!

Come to think of it, Paul was a "one thing" man too! "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

Go for that glorious "One Thing" ... or merely live a mundane "doubled-minded" life, using the wording of James 1:8. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

Focus on Jesus!

Concentrate on Him!

Obsess!

Worship!

Adore!

Meditate!

Day and night!

Your heart will develop as did King David's!

Into this: "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

Amen!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

The Bible Verse we are analyzing, perhaps too closely, is Psalm 27:4. I believe it gives us the "key" to David's life, his life for God.

"One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4

Today we focus on the verb "desire."

David desired something of the Lord, something noble and holy indeed! Nothing selfish or personal, mind you. Rather, things that would please God!

Now Bible critics have a heyday over David's "desires" here!

They admit readily that David had many a desire!

Sure!

I heard a man this week who so abused Scripture, reminding his  listeners that David was just a dirty old "lustful" man.

I say, "No!"

But wait!

He, David, did desire King Saul's daughter, Michal. He desired Bathsheba too, wife of Uriah, the great soldier! And Nabal's wife, Abigail! Not counting a number of other women he married; Ahinoam, Maachah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah being among them!

Yes, it appears that David was quite desirous!

Even on his deathbed, some of his assistants procured for him a woman, a young woman, beautiful to behold! Her name was Abishag. But this time, ironically, David could not muster any desire for the young thing!

Maybe old age.

Maybe bad health.

Maybe lack of interest.

Or maybe, just maybe, the King had by then found a Desire that surpassed all others!

That would be the desire our Text Verse mentions.

Desire for the Lord!

Again, "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

The specifics here will be studied in coming lessons, the Lord willing.

What does it mean "to dwell in the House of the Lord?"

What is the "beauty of the Lord?"

How does one "enquire" of Almighty God?

But for today, the word "desire" is quite enough.

Spelled "shaal," it means "to ask, to request, to borrow," or even "to beg!" It is literally translated "to demand" four times in the King James Version of Scripture.

And as a Qal perfect verb, revealing its simple active voice, the "time" sequence here is that of continuous or on-going action. David has longed for this quite a while! This intimacy with God!

Interestingly, the first time "shaal" is used in the Bible it concerns a woman too! A godly woman, a future Bride for Isaac, son of Abraham. And David, in using this word to picture his hunger for God, "hints" that he has graduated or matured from lots of earthly women ... to a love relationship with the Almighty! Listen to Abraham's servant: "And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands." Genesis 24:47

Desire, transferred from things physical, maybe once even sensual ... to things spiritual, things heavenly, things eternal!

This is always something, "hunger for God," that will indeed "turn" the Lord's Heart every single time!

David, in spite all all he's done, remains God's "darling!"

Why?

Well, the answer must be in Verses like ours today!

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

"One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." You know this one by now, Psalm 27:4.

Anyone hungry for Jesus?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

King David, he is our subject.

Yet perhaps even more so, Almighty God is!

Here's the Verse, straight from David's lips. "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4

Today we need to study that verb "seek."

David, perhaps later in life, had come to the place that he strongly desired and diligently sought the Lord, our great God in all His Glory!

"Baqash" obviously means "to seek," being translated that way 189 times in the King James Bible! But this verb is so strong that it means "to require" 14 more times! This is really craving something, the "got-to-have-it" syndrome! Once it is rendered "to make inquisition" also. But, and here's my reason for listing all these possibilities, one time it is written as "begging" in the Old Testament! Here's that single occurrence. David is still the speaker. "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." Psalm 37:25

Wow!

Our protagonist, King David, is "seeking" God, urgently so! And then, to top it all, "baqash" here in our Verse is expressed as a Piel verb, excessive and diligent and vigorous action being implied. At least that's what the old Hebrew teachers told us.

And still using our same verb, David knows what it is to be "sought!" Saul did that to him for years, repeatedly! "But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father SEEKETH to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself." 1st Samuel 19:2 illustrates how to turn bad circumstances into good ones! See, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life ...." Psalm 27:4

Yes, David often "sought" certain things during his lifetime.

Occasionally, when fleeing from Saul, he entered the land of the Philistines. Once he had to act crazy, feign himself mad, in order to spare his life! He "sought" safety at great personal cost, his dignity before his men! "And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard." 1st Samuel 21:13

Here's something else David "sought," the very life of the little infant baby, Bathsheba's firstborn to the King. The little boy was sick. "David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth." But that time the "seeking" did not yield the result David wanted. The child died. 2nd Samuel 12:16

David the "seeker!"

Seeker for what?

Safety!

Babies!

And a thousand other things likely!

But none can compare to David's seeking in Psalm 27:4.

The Best Thing anyone can ever "seek" is the Lord!

Are you willing to make Him your absolute Goal?

The end Focus of your attention?

Your emotional Terminus?

Your very Life?

Your Lord and your God?

Your personal Saviour?

Let's read our Text Verse again and think about it throughout the day. "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

Amen!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

It's the one thing King David wanted!

And the goal is lofty, admirably so!

"That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life," so longed the godly Monarch.

This great "purpose clause" sits in the middle of an even greater Verse of Scripture, Psalm 27:4. "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

Amen!

David had dwelt in a lot of places throughout his lifetime.

Under the open sky, watching sheep ... comes to mind.

In caves fleeing the wrath of King Saul!

In Philistine territory too!

Finally, in a Royal Palace!

But in none of those dwelling places did he find real peace.

Real meaning to life!

For those priceless things, God's House was the place to be!

The Tabernacle!

Later, the Temple!

While not Davidic, Psalm 84 opens with deep respect for the House of God, much like David is voicing here in  our Text. "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee."

When David prays, "That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life," the verb he utilizes is spelled "yashab," meaning "to dwell" in a permanent sense! To abide, remain, sit! Not to sojourn or temporarily reside!

Psalm 92:13 captures the idea well. "Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God." Planted! Stationary! Fixed! Unmoveable!

Of course the chronological aspect of David's craving is further illustrated by the phrase "all the days of my life." That's faithfulness!

The only other Biblical place I can locate these two "strings" of words is in another Psalm. Also written by David! "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." Psalm 23:6

David loved the House of God!

That's probably why the Lord Himself once said, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will." Acts 13:22

That's pretty high praise!

And that might be why David seemed to live his whole life in the "favor" of Almighty God! The Lord knows when a man or woman puts Him first place!

In the Old Testament God required all Jewish men to go to the House of the Lord three times a year, at the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles! "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles." Deuteronomy 16:16

Then in the New Testament we are taught: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

Both the just cited Passages reflect David's heart's deepest desire, "That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life."

Tomorrow is Sunday, the Lord's Day. Will you be found in God's House? A place where God's Word is preached faithfully!

Surely so!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

I went to sleep last night thinking about today's lesson. David, Old Testament David, actually said that one of his life goals, his major life goal, perhaps by now his only life goal ... was "to behold the beauty of the LORD."

This clause is a vital part of Psalm 27. It is precisely located in verse 4. "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

Wow!

The "beauty" of the Lord!

David had no doubt seen many beautiful things in his day.

Those nights under the stars, keeping the sheep! "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Then, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained."

The fall of Giant Goliath! Bloody? Yes! But glorious, if you're a warrior in Israel! "And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth." 1st Samuel 17:49

His wife Abigail! "Abigail was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance." 1st Samuel 25:3

Some of the beauty David beheld was illegal, too. Bathsheba, for example. "David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." 2nd Samuel 11:2

The city of Jerusalem, once captured from the Jebusites, was destined to be a thing of beauty! "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2

The royal palace, perhaps!

His first child!

Then grandchildren! "Children's children are the crown of old men," Solomon observed in Proverbs 17:6.

Pageantry, wardrobes, banquets fit for a King!

Yes, David was around much beauty, much of the time!

But, still, he found the greatest ideal of loveliness in the Lord!

Read with me today's verse again, especially paying attention to the capitalized clause. "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."  Psalm 27:4

The verb "behold" is spelled "chazah," meaning "to look at something intelligently, to perceive, to see experientially!" The action here is progressive, durative.

David is taking it all in, the beauty of our great God!

It beats anything he's ever beheld in all his life!

That particular noun for "beauty" is rare too, being used only 7 times in the Bible. It often means "kindness and pleasantness, even favour!" In its verb form, "to be sweet!" By Psalm 90:17, Moses is even praying "Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us!" David agrees!

Using "noam" or its cognate, Issachar's land is said to be "pleasant," beautiful in other words. Genesis 49:15

Jonathan's love for David was "pleasant" too, "noam," beautiful! And no, regardless of what the liberals say, this is NOT a homosexual relationship! 2nd Samuel 1:26

Words can be "sweet," according to Psalm 141:6, though in a strange sort of way. Maybe Proverbs 16:24 is an even better example. "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

Wisdom itself is "naem," or "pleasant," literally beautiful! So says Proverbs 2:10.

And the Church is beautiful to Christ, using the classical typology of Song of Solomon 7:6.

These verses at least show us the latitude with which the Holy Spirit uses our word, "beauty."

God is pleasant!

God is sweet!

God is delightful!

God is beautiful!

And David wants to reverently contemplate this fact, this great God, all the days of his life!

Now he has located real Beauty!

One might could even go this far. Just as surely as God is "love," 1st John 4:8, so God is "Beauty!"

Need proof?

"His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." The Bride, speaking of her dear Groom, that is, the Church adoring her Lord!

Get a good look today!

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1st John 3:2

But until that great day, the Second Coming of Jesus, we must be like Moses, "For he endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible." Hebrews 11:27

Either way, in person or through the believing eyes of faith, He is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

We today study an extremely intense verb!

David is expressing to us his life's desire!

His goal of goals!

"One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." This is it, Psalm 27:4.

David worships God, the God is Israel.

Today our focus is on that last clause, "and to enquire in His temple."

David wants to go to God's House, the Tabernacle, the place where God's Presence rests, and there "enquire" of the Lord!

And "enquire" here is dramatic! Both by definition and by syntax. Both the dictionary and the grammar book say so!

"Baqar" is framed here as a piel verb, that alone in Hebrew expressing very intense action!

The only other piel verb in this whole verse is "seek after," in Hebrew "baqash," also indicating fervency.

But "baqar" reveals diligence in its meaning too, its etymology. It is translated "search" as well as "seek" in the King James Bible.  Its "root" means "to plough!" That's cutting deep, isn't it? Also it can mean "to break forth!"

David is saying that at God's House he is willing to dig and beg and wrestle to get a glimpse of the Glory of God!

Nothing passive here!

This is invasive worship!

Participatory!

Like the Bride, the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon, craving her Bridegroom! "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers." Wow!

David uses the rare noun "temple" in our Text. "Heykal" means "a wide, large gathering place." In the Bible it's translated "temple" 70 times and "palace" 10 times.

It's true that the real Temple has not yet been constructed. David, if you will remember, wanted to build it, but God forbade him.

But, nonetheless, David's heart is there already!

Worshiping God!

Can we not worship in that same spirit?

Going to Church, hungry for God!

"Enquiring" from the precious Word of God!

This is the same attitude the Psalmist brings to God, as recorded in Psalm 119:18. "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."

Eager!

Note this as well. David has earlier in his life often enquired of the Lord, but always using less intense verbs! He also, unwisely of course, enquired about Bathsheba. No doubt too in his position as King of Israel he regularly sought the advice of God. Proverbs 25:2 reminds us: "It is the honour of kings is to search out a matter."

But the more David matures in the Lord, the more He grows in his faith, the more diligent become his enquiries!

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary." This is David back in Psalm 63:1-2.

Look at this! "My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me." Still Psalm 63, still David.

No wonder God praised David so highly, so sincerely! He probably coundn't help it! It was his heart! Listen to God talking in Acts 13:33, speaking of David. "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will."

That probably can be said of all men and women who can honestly testify: "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4

Our verse culminates on a high mountain, spiritually!

"Enquiring" in God's Temple!

Plough away!

Dig deep!

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5

Be, in the right sense now, "violent" about acquiring this glorious knowledge of God! Jesus said such was acceptable! "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12

"Enquire!"

God will be exceedingly pleased!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

King David of Israel is often criticized.

Some even picture him as a rogue, a bandit, a criminal.

God says otherwise!

Listen! "David the son of Jesse, the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel." 2nd Samuel 23:1

Or David, "the man after God's own heart!" Acts 13:22

We have now for some time examined Psalm 27:4. In this great Verse David gives us his life goal! "One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

This Verse alone proves David's godliness, undoubtedly!

But today let's glance at its "context," its "setting," the rest of Psalm 27, the whole Passage.

David begins: "The LORD is my light and my salvation. The LORD is the strength of my life." Psalm 27:1, the words of a maturing saint of God!

Quick to respond to God's urges, David prays: "When thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." Psalm 27:8

Is this man close to God? "Hide not Thy face far from me, O God of my salvation." Psalm 27:9

Here's David's real heart: "Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path." Psalm 27:11

What confidence too, what faith! "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

Here's why David, sinful and weak as he was at times, remained in the tender Grace of God.

He hungered for God!

He obsessed over the Almighty!

He was a recipient, unmeasurably so, of the magnificent Grace of God!

He was forgiven!

And ... God's Grace is all sufficient!

Is anyone reading here today also seeking "God's own heart?"

Jesus clearly promised, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6, yes indeed!

Live for God!

You will reap the benefits!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                                      WHAT A VERSE OF SCRIPTURE!

 

 

 

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