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…
Many have felt that the most gracious thing in human life is the sight of a fair woman, tenderly nurtured, threading the gloom of our cities, disdaining no corruption of men, seeking it out rather, the shame and ugliness of it, and bringing ease and hope. Many such we have about us. But there is in all lands one pure virgin — the grace of God — which we have seen searching patiently for His sons in the mire, following them through the haunts of sin, waiting through the rage of evil desire. To see that is to see the beauty of the Lord. When David looked for such discoveries in the Temple be was not thinking of the splendour of the buildings and the ritual. The beauty he thought of belonged to a world of things unseen, to which, at best, our religious art can only provide the symbol. And there is a danger for men of taste of looking for and dwelling in the beauty of accessories, and forgetting the beauty of substance. We all know something of the drowsy spirit which creeps over the Christian, when its one desire is to hear familiar and orthodox phrases sounding again and again. The languor of orthodoxy is not better or worse than the languor of aestheticism; both are connected with things without, with the porch of the pavilion. Within, to reward your seeking, is the King in His beauty. How greatly we all pervert our worship — making it an intellectual gymnastic, or a solemn office of respectability, or a pleasant substitute for piety! The few behold His beauty.
(W. M. Macgregor, M. A.)
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.