This week we will sing one of my favorite worship songs, based on Psalm 84: "Better is One Day."
It had me contemplating my time in Israel last month and the life of King David.
I wish I had a heart like David's. As a worship leader, a musician, and a lover of words, the king's Psalms capture my imagination and stir up a desire to honor the King of kings with my voice and my song. David was called a man after God's own heart, and I wonder what it was like to be anointed with that blessing as David was. So, more often than not, my prayer is "when people look at me, God, let them see that my heart looks like your heart."
One thing I've noticed about David's Psalms is how often he rejoices in the presence of the Lord; how often he longs for it; how broken he is without it. He has a never-ending desire to be with his God and to know that the Holy Spirit is upon him. When his son Solomon built the Temple, we are told that God's Spirit dwelt in the Holy of Holies. It was the most sacred place on earth. It was the house of God.
Last month, I visited the Western Wall. Many Jewish people believe the wall is the last remains of the 2nd Temple that was destroyed in 60 A.D. by the Romans. The reason that millions gather to weep and pray at that wall, and leave notes in its cracks, is because they believe the presence of God still dwells within the stones, the cement of the structure. To most, it is still one of the holiest places on earth. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting a profound spiritual experience when I arrived at the Wall. And while waiting in crowd in the blazing, blinding heat and 74% humidity, the only thing I could think of was how superstitious it seemed. But I found myself writing a note. I found myself pushing through the crowd to touch the ancient white brick. And I prayed for peace. I felt the grief of the women surrounding me. I felt the sorrow of a thousand years of exile.
Yet the Spirit of God does not just dwell in Temple ruins. His presence is not concentrated to a specific acreage. And as I was thinking of these truths I heard the voice of the Spirit in the back of my mind say: "I am with you wherever you go. Mountain, valley, street, and ocean. I have always been here. I will never leave. I am bringing shalom." Shalom. Harmony. Peace. When we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. So standing there at the Western Wall, I wept with joy, not sorrow. I rejoiced because of that promise -- that the glorious Temple that stood here thousands of years ago could not compare to the one we will dwell in with our Savior on that great day. That day I had a glimpse of eternity.
I'm pretty sure David had those glimpses too. And the more we learn about our Savior, our redemption, and the covenants of God, the more we will marvel. As we seek to have a heart like that shepherd poet's, the more our desire to be near to our King will grow. As we seek the presence of the Holy Spirit, the more our joy will overflow. I pray for each of you, that through prayer and song and story you will taste and see the beauty of the Lord, and how good it is to dwell in courts of the King.
One thing I ask, and I would seek
To see your beauty
To find you in the place your glory dwells
For here my heart is satisfied
Within your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of your wings
Better is one day in your courts
Better is one day in your house
Better is one day in your courts
Than thousands elsewhere
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