Scripture: Psalm 27 (NRSV)
What a beautiful and encouraging piece the Psalmist gives us in today’s Scripture. If you haven’t read it yet, please do!
I am confident that parts of the psalm will speak in different ways to different people. Hopefully something the Psalmist wrote can speak to you today. What part really moved you? What part jumped out? What’s the Spirit trying to teach you from the piece?
May I share with you what really tugged on my heart from the piece?
The Psalmist writes, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face.’” Did you catch that part?
Many of us often fall into a rut of seeking only God’s provision. We seek his blessings and gifts, his help and assistance, his safety, etc. We seek what he can do for us, what he can give us, what he can hand out to us. Our eyes are often fixed on, essentially, just his hand, as we demand “give me, give me, give me.”
When God instructs the Psalmist to “seek His face,” he is telling him to seek not just his blessings, but just him; to be completely and utterly content and at peace not necessarily with what God can do for him or give to him, but with just God himself.
God can seem so distant sometimes, though, can’t he? Like way up “there,” while we’re all down “here”….kind of hard to relate to in a way? That’s one of the (many) things that makes the person of Christ so special though! As he instructs Phillip in John’s gospel, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus is God incarnate, God in flesh. That’s what God’s like! Loving, forgiving, just, powerful, righteous….that’s what God’s like.
It is in relationship with him that we experience what Paul calls the “peace that transcends all understanding.” Christ even gives us a clue to this when he prays in John, saying, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” This is eternal life. This is what it’s all about! We were created to be in relationship with the preexistent, eternal relationship of love and community in unity that is the blessed Trinity. Woah! Read that last line again. Now, I have been to many great meals, potlucks and gatherings of community since coming to Goshen College, but this eternal banquet will undoubtedly blow them all away!
I’ll leave you with a question John Piper poses in his book God is the Gospel:
“The critical question for our generation — and every generation — is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
May you, through true repentance, prayer and seeking, be able to answer this question with a resounding “No!! Not without Christ….” May you come to seek his face, and not always his hand. Blessings to you and yours this Lenten season!
Scripture: Psalm 27 (NRSV)
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?
2When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh my adversaries and foes they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
4One 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.
5For 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.
6Now 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.
7Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
8Come, my heart says, seek his face! Your face, Lord, do I seek.
9Do 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!
10If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
11Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!