Behold God’s Beauty

Psalm 27:4 is a short prayer by David. It’s a response to his acknowledgement that “The LORD is my light and my salvation… The LORD is the stronghold of my life…” (Psalm 27:1). So he prays; 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 Lord and to inquire in his temple. While this one sentence prayer is rich in meaning, David’s desire has caught my attention. Of all that David could have prayed, he reaches out to God, requesting that which is of greatest importance to him, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

David was no stranger to earthly wealth and power. Being a successful King, he was accustomed to the nicer things in life, even though he did endure some extremely painful times. However, he could have asked God for all kinds of things which would have increased his comfort and the human pleasures of life. But he didn’t. This single verse prayer shows us what had captivated the deepest recesses of David’s affections, it was the beauty of the Lord.

Living in an age and culture that is obsessed with pleasures without restraint or responsibility, our heart’s truest desires are easy to see. Now-a-days, the world applauds those who parade their passions, regardless of whether they are admirable or debased. Equally, it should be known of God’s children, like David, who unashamedly display their affection for the God who they recognise as beautiful.

But simply recognising God’s beauty falls short of what the Lord is worthy of. Again, David leads us in our understanding of that which is best. Rising above all else in his royal life, David makes this single overarching request for that which consumed his desires in life. And he wasn’t satisfied with asking then walking away and forgetting. No, David openly declared, “that will I seek after.” The value of lingering in his observations of the Lord’s beauty had transferred to his active pursuits in life. David prioritised the time and energies needed to seek after the beauty of the Lord all of the days of his life.

This pursuit of the Lord’s beauty brought David satisfaction. This place of worship was David’s place of contentment. In the flurry of the everchanging events of his royal life, worship was David’s inner sanctuary. Why, not for the sake of worship in and of itself. But in worship he witnessed the very best of Yahweh, and that was the place David desperately wanted to stay in. To always have his heart captured by and pursuing those qualities of the Lord which drown out the distracting noises of the world and life’s busyness.

This is the essence of Jesus’ bold declaration to Satan during His 40 days of temptation. And Jesus answered him (Satan), “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve’” (Luke 4:8). Priority number ONE, for all of God’s created beings, human and angelic alike, is to be locked in worship of God to the degree that our strongest affections demand we serve the Lord our God.

I pray that today, as we navigate life, the Holy Spirit will accomplish this same awakening in all our hearts as in David’s. That I (we) may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my (our) life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. Amen.

Scroll to Top