One Thing I Have Desired


Robert P. Cooper

In Psalm 27:4 David made the statement, "One thing have I desired." I believe there are good lessons to be gained from a consideration of the "one thing" that David desired.

Who was David? We will appreciate the statement more if we know something about the one who made the statement ... He was one of the truly great men of the Bible! While he was but a small boy God chose him to occupy an important place. (1 Samuel 16) He had many wonderful experiences, even as a lad. One day, while keeping his father's sheep, he killed a lion and a bear when they attacked the sheep. (1 Samuel 17:34-36)

Even small children are familiar with the story of how David killed the giant, Goliath, with a sling and a small stone from the brook. David became a great poet, musician, and warrior. He succeeded Saul as the second king of Israel. Truly he accomplished some great things. He also made some serious mistakes. He desired another man's wife and even went so far as to have that man put to death. Yet, because he was humble and penitent, he was said to be a man after God's own heart. This, then, was the man who made the statement, "One thing have I desired."

I am sure that most of us desire too many things. We just want too much! As a result we become dissatisfied and discontented. We feel unhappy and frustrated and defeated when we fail to gain all those things which we desire. We need to remember the words and the attitude of David when he said, "One thing have I desired."

Although it may sound like a contradiction, I am convinced that David desired many things. He no doubt desired food, clothing, shelter, health, etc., but there was one thing that was uppermost in his mind. There was one desire that was so much greater than other desires that David spoke as if it were his only desire. There was one thing that he especially desired!

... In Psalm 27:4 David said, "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." David's one great desire was to dwell in the house of Godto be one of God's people to enjoy communion with Godto be in the favour of God. David knew that God's presence was in his house. That is why he said, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psalm 122:1) This same idea was expressed again by the Psalmist when he said, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." (Ps. 84:10) A doorkeeper would not occupy a very high position. That might not be considered an important work to perform. The idea is that it would be better to occupy a humble place and be in the service of God than to be a great and mighty man, yet be in wickedness.

David's great desire was to be faithful in the Lord's house. Notice the expression in our text, "That I may dwell in the house of the Lord ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE." He realized that he was safe and secure in the house of the Lord. We should want the same thing David wanted. His desire should be our desire.

The Lord has a house today! It is not a literal house, but it is a spiritual house. In 1 Tim. 3:15 Paul speaks of "the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." The church is not a physical building, but it is a spiritual building. "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. 2:5) We can be members of that house. "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Heb. 3:6) From this it is evident that God's people comprise his house.

Salvation is in the Lord's house! We are safe and secure in the Lord's house! We have communion and fellowship with God and with Christ in the Lord's house! Our greatest desire should be to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life.

Are you in the 'house of God? If not, why not enter today? Save yourself by obeying the gospel, and the Lord will add you to the church. (Acts 2:47) Believe on Christ as the Son of God, repent of your sins, confess the name of Christ, and be baptized for the remission of your sins. You thus will become a living stone in the Lord's house. If you are in his house, be faithful. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2:10). Reprinted from the Bible Herald, Vol. XI, No. 1, January 1, 1963.


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