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…
Worship is a necessity to the spiritually awakened soul. Public worship was an urgent, pressing necessity in the psalmist's case. When, on another occasion similar to that on which he penned this psalm, he found himself deprived of the refreshing and ennobling services of God's house, he exclaimed (Psalm 84:2). Our text teaches us much about David as a worshipper.
I. HIS SINGLENESS OF. PURPOSE IN WORSHIP.
1. No moment in the history of his soul was so full of meaning as that moment when, as though he saw the Invisible, he poured the petitions of his overflowing soul into the ear of Him who listens to the cry of the raven, and also the cries and supplications of His needy people, and supplies their every want. In worship he learnt more, felt better, and understood the purposes of life more thoroughly than in any other act of his life. He placed everything else on a lower plane as of less importance, that he might pray to God, fully persuaded that he could obtain more for his soul and the souls of his fellow-creatures by that means than by any other method.
2. The vehemence of the psalmist's desire would have consumed him had he not been able to embody the desire in the act. Like another servant of God's, the passion to act was like a "burning fire shut up" in his "bones," until he moved to seek after that which he so ardently desired. Religion was a business with him who penned this psalm, not a mere pastime. The more the soul possesses of the spirit of true piety, the more active will it become.
3. David having found the Lord to be to him all he tells us in the first verse, it is only natural that his most earnest spiritual desires should be towards Him.
II. THE PARTICULAR PLACE WHERE HE DESIRED TO WORSHIP. "O that I might be able to perform all the duties of life in the house of God, beneath His eye, and in His immediate presence; that every act of my life might be an act of worship." He did not, monk-like, desire to spend his life in self-imposed idleness; his active, kingly nature would not permit him to waste precious time in such a selfish luxury; but he desired, above all things, that his life should be supremely spiritual. If all who are engaged in the world's work in the various walks of life were seeking to perform its many duties as though they were conscious that they were in the presence of God, who approves or disapproves of every act done by men, doubtless a much greater number would be actuated by the spirit that breathes in the text. Then every factory, warehouse, exchange, shop, market-place, school-room, and study would be a sacred place, made such by spiritual men and women. Every building may be a house of God if there be a child of God in it.
III. His DETERMINATION TO PERSEVERE IN THE WORSHIP OF THE TRUE GOD. "All the days," etc. This is really a spiritual necessity. If the soul is to live and grow in the virtues of religion, its needs must be attended to every day, and as long as life lasts. The bread of life that came down from heaven is the soul's portion, and it is everything we can desire. Then there is the river of life, the streams of which never dry. Let us constantly seek these grand essentials in the worship of God.
(D. Rhys Jenkins.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 inquire in his temple.