May Reading from The Message

May 12, 2021

Here in Psalm 27 David is crying out and asking God for one thing. Not a revolving prayer list of wants, but one big ask that he is desperate for God to agree to.

Light, space, zest—

that’s God!

So, with him on my side I’m fearless,

afraid of no one and nothing.

2 When vandal hordes ride down

ready to eat me alive,

Those bullies and toughs

fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,

I’m calm as a baby.

When all hell breaks loose,

I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing,

only one thing:

To live with him in his house

my whole life long.

I’ll contemplate his beauty;

I’ll study at his feet.

5 That’s the only quiet, secure place

in a noisy world,

The perfect getaway,

far from the buzz of traffic.

6 God holds me head and shoulders

above all who try to pull me down.

I’m headed for his place to offer anthems

that will raise the roof!

Already I’m singing God-songs;

I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:

“Be good to me! Answer me!”

When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”

my whole being replied,

“I’m seeking him!”

Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;

don’t turn your back on me now.

Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;

you’ve always kept the door open.

My father and mother walked out and left me,

but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;

direct me along a well-lighted street;

show my enemies whose side you’re on.

Don’t throw me to the dogs,

those liars who are out to get me,

filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness

in the exuberant earth.

Stay with God!

Take heart. Don’t quit.

I’ll say it again:

Stay with God.

Scripture Insight

Singleness of Mind

“I’m asking God for one thing,” the psalmist wrote (Psalm 27:4).

One thing? Me, I’ve asked God for a hundred things, a thousand even! I can’t begin to tell you all the things I’ve asked for.

One thing?

There’s hardly a desire I’ve had over the years that I haven’t asked the Lord to fulfill. That adds up to a lot of asking.

“One thing” echoes in my ears.

My petitions have ranged from the simple to the serious. They’ve included fleeting whims and full-fledged commitments. But they have been many, not one. They tumble endlessly within me. Then I come to this verse in Psalm 27, where I find a person who has discovered what is essential and sticks with it. I want to be that person—and I believe you do too.

How do we account for the singleness of mind expressed in this psalm? Simply this: Here is a person who has discovered the immensity, the attractiveness, and the accessibility of God. He desires one thing, but that one thing is expressed in three verbs: live, contemplate, and study. It’s one thing, but it’s experienced in three dimensions: in the house of the Lord, in the beauty of the Lord, and at the feet of the Lord.

This single desire that absorbs all other desires is to be where God is, to see what he reveals, and to learn what he teaches. The trouble the psalmist faced didn’t drive him into trying everything in hopes that something might turn up that worked. His troubles drove him to one thing: to God.

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