The House of the Lord

“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.” (Psalm 27:4)

The theme of the house of God is prominent in the book of Psalms. The phrase “the house of the LORD” occurs seven times, plus once each for “the LORD’s house” and “the house of the LORD our God.” There are three references to “the house of God,” one to “the house of my God,” and one to “the house of our God.” Then, “thy house” is mentioned 11 times, making a total of at least 25 explicit references to the house of the Lord in the book of Psalms alone.

Many of these passages refer, of course, to the actual temple in Jerusalem. On the other hand, since it was in the temple’s holy place that the Shekinah glory dwelled and where the high priest met once each year with God on behalf of the people, there naturally follows a personal metaphorical application with the house of the Lord referring to the spiritual presence of the Lord in the life of each believer.

In our text, the psalmist expresses as his highest desire that of continually dwelling in God’s presence all the days of his life. A number of the other references express the same holy desire, and the New Testament response is that, indeed, “ye are the temple of God, and . . . the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

It is wonderful to “dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,” but that is not all we can look forward to. The glorious concluding assurance of the 23rd Psalm is even greater. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:6). HMM

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