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Dwell in the House of the Lord

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” [Psalm 27:4 NIV]

Psalm 27 is a beautiful psalm of praise to the Lord, a Lord for which we want to dwell with forever, to gaze upon the beauty of God’s glory all the days of our lives. Verse 5 moves into a declaration of the perfect safety and divine peace we feel with the Lord, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”

But then in verse 6 we read: “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me:” Wait a minute! I stumbled on these words. David is gloating a little, isn’t he? That’s not very honorable, I thought to myself. Reminds me of those pro football players who do a dance over the quarterback that they just sacked. Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies, not gloat over them?

However, I read a devotion on this Psalm that put another light on this. Enemies don’t have to refer to people—to those who seem to always be against us or seeking a fight with us. The “enemy” to the majority of us is not “someone,” but “something.” Something that constantly torments us, whether it be a physical challenge, a strained relationship, extreme worry about the future, guilt over past offenses, or the hopelessness of present circumstances. You probably already know what your “enemy” is these days. It is these enemies that cause the most anguish—for which we desire to be delivered and exalted. It is these enemies that we need to rise above.

So now let’s go back to that troublesome verse 6: “Then my head will be exalted above the (fill in the blank with the “enemy” that is tormenting you) that surrounds me. At his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”

Now that speaks to me. This is worth praising God. This is worth singing about.


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