About That Temple
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 (Psalm 27:3 NIV).
These were David’s words in one of his best-known psalms, and we often admire the sentiment. We too want the streamlined life that comes with having one overriding desire. David longed to dwell in the house of the Lord, gaze on his beauty, and seek him in his temple. We get warm feelings from this verse until we remember one critical detail: the temple had not yet been built. It was David’s deep longing that would be deferred until the next generation.
So David’s deep longing to gaze on God’s beauty in his temple was not simply a wish to walk down the street and enter in. It was an unfulfilled longing that would remain unfulfilled throughout his life. Of course, the temple was and always would be only a shadow of the heavenly reality (Hebrews 8:5), so David would enter in one day in another dimension. But that wasn’t his immediate focus. He longed for a worship experience in a place that did not yet exist.
That makes the parting line of this psalm remarkably poignant: I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). Even though his heart ached for something more, David knew he would see God’s goodness in his earthly lifetime. That’s hope, and it’s worth hanging on to. Some dreams may be deferred to another age. God’s goodness never is. It’s available here and now, in this life. Cling to that tenaciously. Never let your circumstances compromise that hope.