March 3, 2014


Psalm 27:4

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 Lordand to inquire in his temple.

Today we come to the final few phrases of this rich verse. As we do, I want to focus on three words that will help us understand the depth of David’s plea.

David says in this verse that he seeks to dwell in the house of the LORD.

Dwell – yashab – to remain, sit, abide, sit down, to stay, to be inhabited, to abide, to marry

Think about your own home for a moment. You furnish it, sleep in it, and live your life in it. You make it yours when you take up residence there, and hopefully, it provides you with a sense of relaxation, comfort, security, and peace.
David sought to dwell, sit, abide, and stay in the house of the LORD all the days of his life. The temple, or tabernacle as it was called in the Old Testament, served as a visual reminder of the presence of God for His people. God’s presence dwelled in the tabernacle, and David’s one desire was to abide, stay, sit, remain, take up residence in the place of God’s presence.
  • Do you long for God’s presence like that?
  • What does the presence of God mean to you?
  • Have you ever experienced it?
  • Have you ever tried to explain what living in God’s presence means to someone who never has
  • Perhaps God is prompting you to share that with someone this week.
David wanted to … gaze upon the beauty of the LORD.
Gaze – chazah – to see, perceive, to contemplate with pleasure, look, behold
Have you ever been completely captivated by someone or something? Perhaps it was a breathtaking sunset or newborn baby that caught your attention. What did you do? Did you glance for a moment, or did you become so enamored by the vision that you stopped, turned, and looked “full-on” into the face of the exquisite sight? This idea of gazing or beholding requires more than a passing glance; it is purposeful contemplation of something so magnificent that you just can’t take your eyes off of it. You drink in the sight, and as you do, you find sheer delight in its presence.
This is what that word means … to gaze on the beauty of the Lord is to look, with full attention, into the face of Jesus in all of His glory.
Several examples come to my mind when I think of gazing on the beauty of the LORD, but none are so prevalent than that of Mary of Bethany at Jesus’ feet. We see her at His feet twice in Scripture. In Luke 10:39 we see her there listening to His teaching, and then in John 12:3 we see her anointing His feet and wiping it with her hair.
I think what strikes me most about these two moments is the time Mary takes away from all of the other pressing things she could be doing. She simply sits with or dwells with Jesus in an unhurried fashion and finds delight and joy in His presence. She beholds His glory in each of those moments, and it is as though time stands still. She worships her Lord and is completely unconcerned with those around her. And both times she is rewarded with a verbal note of praise from Jesus and a heart bursting with love.
Have you done that recently? Have you taken the time to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD?
Take a moment and read Isaiah 53:1-6Put your name in the place of all of the pronouns in these verses and gaze upon the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.

  • What is your response to what Jesus did for you?
  • Do you gaze upon His beauty daily?
F.B. Meyers says: 
To behold his beauty is to keep looking off unto Jesus.
Will you keep looking off to Him today?
Read the following verses and think about the ways you can behold the Lord.

  • Psalm 119:18 – Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful (beautiful) things from your law. (Read His Word.)

  • Psalm 119:37 – Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and give me life in your ways.(Choose God’s ways rather than sinful ways.)
  • Psalm 29:2 – Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.(Worship the Lord.)

David completes this verse with this phrase … to inquire in his temple.
Inquire – baqar – to break forth, inspect, admire, consider, search, seek, reflect, meditate, to look for, to do research, to make thorough inquiry in order to learn more about God’s purposes, to pray
Do you know how to worry? I think we can all say a confident “yes” to that question. Think about what you do when you worry: You turn something over and over in your mind. You look at it from every angle, thinking and pondering it for the purpose of understanding and learning more about whatever it is you’re worrying about. Does this sound familiar?
What if we took that same concept and applied it to “inquiring in His temple”? What if instead of worrying, we made a thorough inquiry to the Lord in order to learn more about His purposes? Would that be a better use of our time and energy? What if we were as intent about our inquiries with God as we are with fretting about trying to figure out our future? What if rather than worrying, we start praying and doing research (i.e. begin searching God’s Word) for His answers rather than our best guesses? You know the old saying, “Inquiring minds want to know.” What’s on your mind to know today? Perhaps you could try inquiring in His temple.
There is an old hymn that keeps coming to my mind as I think about this verse.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
His Word shall not fail you-He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Will you turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face today? Will you inquire of Him – contemplate, meditate on and research His Word so you can best discern His voice and presence in your life?
Psalm 27:5 gives insight into why verse 4 is so very important. Listen to it inThe Voice translation …

His house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of the storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God. He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.
The Lord’s temple is our shelter, our secret retreat! When we dwell with our “One Thing,” we can feel safe and secure, full of peace and joy! Did you catch that last phrase, “high above the fray”? The Lord will lift us up high above the fray.
Oh how I pray that our One Thing becomes our Only Thing!  May we never look to our other things in place of THE One and Only Thing – Jesus!
If you’d like to spend the next few weeks leading up to Easter with me, walking through the Tabernacle together, subscribe to my blog. We’ll gaze on the beauty of the LORD and inquire in his templeClick here to subscribe and each Friday during Lent (March 5-20), you’ll receive an email link to my Lenten devotional. We’ll be taking a leisurely stroll through the Lord’s sanctuary, enveloped in joy, beholding His glory.


Jacqueline Heider is the Director of Women’s Ministry, 
Prayer & Resource Specialist at Warren Baptist Church. 
Visit her blog for more encouragement.