Monday, September 9, 2013

In the House

Psalm 27:4 (KJV)  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 enquire in his temple.

That’s King David’s thoughts on having a relationship with God.  A real God, described by God inspired Scripture.  And that verse says so much more than its surface interpretation.

Verse four begins by David saying his primary focus is the Lord.  It’s not a side note or an afterthought to other things.  Everything else gets shoved aside for this.  He then follows up, in the same segment of the verse, by saying he seeks after the Lord.  Matthew 6:33.  Seek first….  There’s not just hoping to find God.  It’s an active process.

The author then says he wants to dwell with God for his lifetime.  We know that life is eternal, with two options for what happens after life on earth.  David says he wants the option to bask in the Lord’s beauty.  In all of this, there are three words I want to look at.

The word translated as enquire is hekal, which really speaks of seeking.  And it's a different word than the earlier one that's translated as "seek".  That makes me think that God used two separate words for “seek” to emphasize the importance of being active in growing a relationship with Him.  And, in that same portion, the word for temple speaks of a public building.  David is saying he wants to be in the place where all people have the opportunity to come together to get to know God and worship Him.  In other words, church is a good place to be.

What I really want to look at more closely is toward the beginning.  It says, “that I may dwell in the house of the LORD”.  House is bayit in the Hebrew.  It’s, by far, used most often to talk about a house.  But there are some other things it’s translated to.

The least pleasant use of this word is prison or dungeon.  Whether we think of those two words or a house, we see an edifice that has strong walls.  Those walls have a purpose of separating the good part of society from the elements or bad influences.  It’s also used for a temple, which is a place to learn of God and worship Him.  In all of this we see a structure that has a positive place in relating to God.

The word bayit also has other meanings.  It’s used to speak of home, a household, or a family.  That tells me that getting closer to God isn’t intended to just be a personal, subjective experience.  Our relationships with those around us are part of becoming one with God.  Part of the protective strength of the house comes through what we gain from others.

There’s a difference between a house and a home.  We can live in a house by ourselves and gain certain benefits.  But there’s more that can only come through our relationships with others – insights, love, comfort, etc.  I can’t help but think that God used this word intentionally, because it included both house and home, solitary living and family relationship.  We get an interesting picture.

David says he wants to be where God resides.   Where He allows us to learn of Him and accepts our worship.  He draws us into relationships with the rest of the Body of Christ (our spiritual family) so we can more greatly experience Him.  We are protected by Him, loved by Him, drawn by Him.  David craved that.  And isn’t that what we seek every day?

No comments:

Post a Comment