"The LORD is my strength and salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
Though enemies assail me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war rise up against me yet I will be confident.
One thing I have asked of the LORD, that I will 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 LORD and to inquire in his temple."
- David, meditating again!
I've been meditating again ("Shame on you Phil!"). And I've chosen this passage above to set my heart on. It is a passage that my mother sent me when I was in dark depression and has been a source of great encouragement.
Life throws us curveballs. Enemies of anxiety, fear, broken relationships, wrecked dreams and familial loss, surround us. It is in these times that we call out to our to our "stronghold."
The God we serve deserves our full attention. Why? Because he loves us even though we have throroughly rejected his love. This hit me last night. Have I really rejected his love. Absolutely. And God, in his radically ridiculous love has taken me back. He's made a way for me. He is my "light and salvation."
In the passage above I see a progression in David's thoughts. He begins with stating that God is our savior and stronghold. He then begins describing the dangerous realities of life, and the courage he has in God. And finally he shows us where this courage and hope in God leads: Dwelling in God's presence "all the days of my life."
This last verse has to be my favorite verse of this Psalm, and perhaps of the entire Bible. It invites us to dwell in God's presense and gaze upon God's beauty. Nothing else can satisfy like living in God's constant presense. To live in his temple. We often think of him templing or dwelling in us. A still small voice that we must search for. But the opposite is true, we dwell in something so much greater and so much bigger than us. We dwell in God. Our life is found outside of us. It's found in God.
Notice how David doesn't say, "One day I will dwell in God's house." No, he believes that he can dwell there today. He was already home in God in that day.
Yesterday in Sunday School, someone said, in light of the purgings and wrath of God poured out on people in the Old Testament, that they didn't have Jesus yet. I couldn't dissagree more, if David didn't have Jesus, who did he have? Whereas he didn't know his name he trusted in a God who "forgave all his iniquities, redeemed his life from the pit, and crowned him with steadfast love and mercy..."
David loved God greatly because he had a large view of God. And he spent time meditating on him. It's apparent in the Psalms that this was no feel good exercise, like I often look for. It was the bread and butter of his existence. He clung to God, much like Jacob in his wrestling match.
I hope that I cling to the God that clings to me through all of my rebellion. For I too want to dwell in God's house every day I'm on this earth. I want to see his beauty and wonder. And when troubles come, I want to deal honestly with my BIG God. For no small god in the hear and after will do for me.