Pondering the Psalms
Psalm 27 vs 1 & 4
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? 4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
Given a choice I would prefer to travel by boat, train or car rather than fly. It’s nothing to do with a fear of flying. Truth be told, I quite like the take off and the aerial view over a landscape or city before the plane is enveloped by the clouds but the rest of the flight is mind numbingly tedious. Perhaps though, that’s the way you really want it. No turbulence thank-you! Between hanging around the airport and flying above the clouds for hours on end, a journey by air can’t go quickly enough for me. It’s something to be endured more than enjoyed before the holiday begins. Travelling by other means though much slower and impossible in some circumstances, makes it all part of the holiday experience.
How many times have you turned to this psalm when you’ve hit a troubled period in life? In that respect the opening verse of the psalm really says it all. You might remember way back in spring 2020, over the course of a week, we looked in detail at this particular psalm. What caught my attention when I read it again just now however, was verse 4... “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” That is David’s hope, to spend all his days in time and in eternity in the presence of and in fellowship with God. Life is not something to be got through as quickly as possible, which in some manner is to be endured, like a flight; simply a means to an end. On the contrary God’s presence is a living reality right now, in all the sorrow, heartache or threats he may endure, so the psalmist’s course through life leads to and flows from that reality of enjoying the loving presence of God. That hope is his anchor.
For Christians today hope takes a definite form in our Saviour Jesus who is present with us through all the turbulence of life as we are united to him through faith. His promise is firm, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt28:20) The writer of the letter to the Hebrews gives us this wider hope and deeper security. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” (Heb. 6:19-20) That in a sense marks the best of both worlds the journey and the end form one spiritual experience. We have the presence of Christ now, with us in all the nitty-gritty and indeed joys of life but Jesus has also gone ahead and we have a representative before the throne of God. Our Saviour Jesus will bring us securely to God who in the end will live with his people. When, like now, perhaps you are tempted to despair remember this hope and rejoice. Believer, your life is hid with Christ!