Gazing and Seeking

In the sermons of late, we have seen God through Solomon challenge our thinking. There is a way of the wise that those with the fear of the Lord seek to live and then there is the way of the fool who function as if they can do “whatever they want to do.”  The problem is that the Proverbs are not just given to us to teach us the difference between wisdom and foolishness, it, like all of Scripture is meant to point out our sin so that we can seek God’s forgiveness and grow in His grace. It seems that we are prone to all the same sins that we see the people of Israel committing in the Old Testament and God wants us to rise above these sins. Solomon’s dad, King David, saw these sins in himself and God’s people and we see Him constantly lamenting and seeking forgiveness so that we might take our minds off ourselves to consider someone else first so that we might find the fulfillment and joy we so desperately seek.

David speaks of his desire for God in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.”

David asked one thing of the Lord: according to the whole verse… and that is to have the ability to enjoy Him.  He knew to enjoy God guaranteed joy and fulfillment in his own life. David wanted to gaze upon His beauty and seek Him in His temple.  He knew also that to be in God’s house with God’s people is where the reception of this joy is best.

To gaze is to look intently with wonder or admiration, like a young man that discovers the girl of his dreams from across the room.  Before he begins to initiate a relationship, he seeks unnoticed opportunities to gaze upon her beauty.  This is what David wanted to do, except he was more open about what he wanted.  He wanted to gaze upon God and he wanted everyone to know it. David clearly tells us, as well, the best place to gaze upon the Lord is… “in dwelling in the house of the LORD all the days of His life…and seeking God in His temple.” This is where his sight is clearest. Not that he “lived” in the house of the LORD…But God’s house was like a home where He could gaze upon the LORD and find rest and joy.

David goes on to say that he wants to seek God. To seek is to search for something of great value or something greatly desired.  David sought this kind of relationship with God all of his life. (We know his story well…and I can still say this about David , because God said of David that he was a man after God’s own heart. David like the rest of us believers cannot be defined by a couple of moments along the way…but by our life time.)  He wanted to enjoy God to the fullest sense and constantly seeking Him especially in His temple is where that enjoyment really comes into play.  This is because while he seeks and gazes upon God’s beauty in His temple, his “personal” joy grows as he does what he was created to do with God’s people as together they worship God as God has commanded.

Psalm 27:4 is not an isolated text.  David wrote often in a similar fashion.  Check out Psalm 63:1-4 for instance. “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”  David is even more expressive here than in Psalm 27.  He earnestly seeks God; his soul thirsts for Him, and his body longs for Him.  Why such intense words?  David had beheld God’s power and glory and had experienced His intense love in the sanctuary and on the battlefield.  As a result, he wanted even more to enjoy God with His people and give Him glory.

True joy in this life comes only through growing in a desire to gaze upon the beauty of God’s attributes and by seeking an ever-deepening relationship with Him.  To enjoy life to its fullest is to glorify God and enjoy Him.  This is the fear of the Lord that the wise receives and exhibits to those around them. These; “gazing and seeking”, are two sides of the same coin.

The writers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism understood how important this message was.  That is why they made it the first question of the Catechism.  It is to this truth that the rest of the truths expressed in the Catechism are connected.  “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”  John Piper goes a bit further by stating it this way, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”  These are phrases of men seeking to express the truths of Scripture. But Scripture is one.  We cannot enjoy life by doing whatever we want to do.  We enjoy life as we seek to glorify God and enjoy Him above all else.  Soli Deo Gloria– to God alone, be the glory.

God Bless y’all today.

In His Grip,
Pastor Mike

Picture of Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu is Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Victoria, TX.

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