Our Dwelling Place
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh - my adversaries and foes - they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me; Yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; to live 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. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! "Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27 (NRSV)
When Alonza Jones's girls were young, the older ones would play "I'm gonna getcha" with whoever was the youngest at the time. Invariably, the youngest would run to Alonza, or her mother, and attempt to hide behind their legs. The child knew that she was safe as long as Alonza or her mother was around.
This reminded Alonza of the way that King David knew he was safe as long as he remained in the presence of God. Today's reading shows David's total reliance upon God when he called the Lord his light, salvation, and stronghold and expressed his longing to remain in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. He was not talking bout bricks and mortar. God was David's dwelling place. Living daily in the presence of the Lord brought David comfort and gave him confidence over his enemies.
As Alonza meditated on this psalm, a sobering question pushed its way to the front of her thinking: When do I run to the Lord? Is it only when I am already afraid? Is it only when I have a need? Her honest answers humbled her. Often she sought God in times of want or times of fears? But when things were going well she sometimes forgot to feel delight that God is always with her.Like her girls were with her, Alonza was happy to know that God is her hiding place in times of trouble. Isn't this true for most of us? But like David, we can be overjoyed that God is our dwelling place all the time.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to bask in your presence at all times, in Jesus' name, amen.