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…
I. THE GREAT OBJECT OF HIS ARDENT DESIRE.
1. A permanent residence in the house of God. The psalmist desired to engage permanently in the service of the Lord. What a contrast is this to the conduct of those who attend only occasionally when opportunity appears to them to favour it, or when worldly engagements do not interfere. The psalmist had an ardent desire for this object. What a contrast does this present to those who come to the house of the Lord, but who come from improper motives, who are induced to come from submission to authority, from a compliance with custom, or from the accusation of conscience,
2. The object of the psalmist's desire includes the enjoyment of the Divine presence in His ordinances, to behold the beauty of the Lord. The beauty of the Lord is that display of His presence and perfections which is made to the minds of His true and spiritual worshippers. The services of the ancient temple were beautiful. They were typical of Gospel times; yet the ancient saints rejoiced in the glory which was to be revealed. We possess the full revelation of that glory which they "beheld through a glass darkly." In our temple, though no cedars cast around their fragrance, nor are the sunbeams reflected from burnished gold — though we have no priests arrayed in costly vestments, nor do clouds of incense wave around us; yet in the full revelation of the Gospel, and in the more abundant influence of the Spirit, we behold a beauty which far surpasses the beauty of the ancient church.
3. The object of the psalmist's desire includes an obedient, and diligent, and successful study of the Divine will, and to inquire in His temple,
II. THE ARDENT INTENSITY WITH WHICH THE PSALMIST DESIRED THIS OBJECT. "One thing have I desired," etc.
1. This is the language of decision.
2. Of decided preference. Elsewhere he says, "I had rather be a doorkeeper," etc. (Psalm 89.). I commend his choice to you.
(T. Raffles, D. D.)
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.