Reading: Psalm 27:4-10
(Note: We read verse 4-7 last time. This is just to add context today.)
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
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 meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.
- What exactly does “seek God’s face” mean?
- Does this mean God have a physical face?
- We are so small. How can we seek the face of the Creator of the universe?
King David in a dangerous situation wasn’t fearful. Why could he be so confident? Because he knew:
- Who God is
- What God had done and is doing
- What he was trusting God to do
Freed from fear, what was King David’s desire? "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple" (Psalm 27:4). He knew that the best place to be in a spiritual battle is in God’s presence. David’s response to God answering his prayers was joyful thanksgiving and praise.
More bold requests from David?
"Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me." (v. 7) How does he have the right to ask God not only to heard him but even to answer? Same as before...
He knew what God had done and is doing. "You have been my help" (v. 9). "I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah." (Psalm 3:4).
He knew what what he was trusting God to do. "God to hide and protect David in His tabernacle." (v. 5~6). "But the Lord will take me up." (v. 10) "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You." (Psalm 9:10)
And he had not forgotten, who God is. In verse 8 we see God as conversational. God is talking with David here as He talked with Adam, Abraham, or Moses. Verse 9 we see God is his help and his salvation. And in verse 10, God is faithful & trustworthy.
It’s a frightening idea to think our first and closest loved ones leaving us. But even then, we can trust that God will not. “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;...” (Isaiah 49:15-16a) That imagery reminds me of the wounds of Jesus.
But even still… David’s a bit presumptuous?
It might seem so until we remember that God is the initiator here. When Adam & Eve sinned, it was God who called out “Where are you?” God is all-knowing God. He knew what they had done and where they were hiding. Even still He calls out to them. We’ll talk about that again later. It is God here commanding David to seek His face. Furthermore, God showing Himself as being relational. God’s command is nothing more than to seek Him. To approach Him. To be in His presence (same Hebrew word as “face”).
David isn’t being presumptuous; He was being responsive! This even goes back to the reason for his confidence and sole desire in verse 4. Actually, all these requests are all really the same: "Help me seek Your face." It's the same for us today: "We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
Thoughts for us today
What hinders us from being in God’s presence?
Sin replaces the desire to be in God’s presence with fear and shame. "They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?'" (Genesis 3:8-9)
God hides His face or turn away in anger from those who chose evil (v. 9). "Then they will cry out to the Lord, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds. (Micah 3:4)
We can be distracted by other things or have misplaced our priorities. "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)
If sin keeps us from God’s presence, what can we do?
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Why would God forgive and cleanse us?
"God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)
So, how exactly do we seek God’s face?
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Psalm 16:11)
Finally, in heaven
"There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads." (Revelation 22:3-4)
We should make this our primary prize. To spend eternity worshiping and gazing on the face of the God who loved us enough to die for us.
Some Final Questions For Us
As I said before, these are issues and questions that I personally be wrestling with and praying about. These next questions are just as much for me as anyone else.
- Do we understand what it means to seek God’s face?
- How much do we desire to seek God’s face?
- Are there other desires that are crowding out the “one thing” of seeking God’s face?
- Could it be that there are sin areas that are causing God to hide His face from us?
- Are we willing to ask God to help us in these areas?
This is such a large topic that can’t really be dealt with properly in this short time.However, if there is one point to remember, it’s this...
Seek His Face