David sings of his soul’s longing to be with the Lord. To be completely content in the presence of the Lord so that no troubles seep through.
Have you ever heard the saying, “So Heavenly minded that you are no earthly good”? This is not what David is advocating. Instead he is saying that he longs to be as close to the Lord as possible He aches for that connection with all his being. He knows that there are still worldly problems all around him but he will let God work those out as He wills.
I have a feeling that it was harder for David to have that connection than it is for us today. David didn’t have access to the Holy Spirit on a continual basis. He had specific rituals he had to observe when coming to the Lord. Even with these barriers, David was probably as close to God as most people could get. Moses was the possibly the closest since the fall, with the possible exception of Enoch who walked so closely with God that one day he just wasn’t on this earth any longer.
David’s longing to please God and be in His presence ruled his life. No, he didn’t spend every day in prayer and study but he walked the paths laid out for him by the Lord. David didn’t seek to be king. That directive came from the Lord. David didn’t seek followers; they were drawn by the Lord and David’s conduct.
David did seek a more intimate presence of the Lord when he brought the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem. He also sought that presence each time he called for the ephod. He got as close as he possibly could, without stepping over into sin by pushing beyond the boundaries set up by God. He was willing to do whatever he could to get closer to the Lord.
God honored David’s efforts. He met David as closely as He could within the confines of the Law. There were limits that God had enacted Himself. This protected David’s life and preserved His holiness. This barrier had to remain in effect until Jesus’ work was finished. Then the Holy Spirit was given to dwell in us continually, when we accept Jesus’ work. I wonder which time in history David would have chosen if he had been given such a choice. His role would certainly have been different as Israel had no more kings after Jesus’ time. Also David knew nothing else so he was probably happy to be a servant of the Lord no matter what his role in life. I have no trouble hearing him say, “It matters not what I do, so long as I can do it for my Lord.”
With the barrier removed between us and God, we have access David only dreamed about. But often we don’t take advantage of that access. We wait ‘outside the door’ hoping someone will go in for us. There is Someone and His name is Jesus. Take his hand and go on in. God is waiting on you. Come to the table He has prepared for you. He wants to spend time with you too. He won’t drag you kicking and screaming into His presence. But He has placed a hole in all of us that can only be filled by Him. NOTHING else fits. It is AMAZING what He can do with a heart that is hungry for Him. If you don’t believe me, all you have to do is look back at the stories He has shared.
Father God, I want NEED Your presence. Sometimes I don’t feel that longing as keenly as other times. I’m not sure what that says about our relationship. I WANT to be ‘hungry’ for Your word and Your presence. I come regardless of how I feel because I KNOW You will meet me here anyway. THANK YOU for that! But is the ‘longing’ not always present because I’m not ‘starving to death’ at the moment? I’m NOT willing to give up coming on a regular basis to check it out and see. I LOVE being ‘satisfied’ at Your table too.