Of tents and palaces

“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell 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.” Psalm 27:4

If the temple had been in existence at that time, David’s longing would have been more understandable. Who wouldn’t enjoy meeting with God amidst the ornate carving and abundance of gold in Solomon’s temple?

But during the life of David there was no temple. The ark of God remained in a tabernacle of skins and curtains as it had done since the days of Moses (2 Samuel 7:2) King David had built for himself a house of cedar, certainly something grand and palatial – suitable for a king. Yet his heart longed more intensely for the tent where God was than the comfort of his own dwelling.

 But kings belong in palaces David. Not tents.

Yet Almighty God dwelt in a tent, and that made it a palace to David.

In the day of trouble

For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face.  But in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise and save us’.  Jeremiah 2:27

All is well.  The land is safe.  There is no danger.  The people of Israel plunge headlong into idolatry.  No playing on the fringes of it for them.  The Lord Himself says of their idolatry:

“..on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down, playing the harlot.” Jer 2:20

“…for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah.” Jer. 2:28

They weren’t just experimenting with a bit of false religion here and there.  They had thrown themselves into the pursuit of other gods with all their heart.  But then the day of trouble came.

They may have tried to convince themselves that these idols were actually something, but deep inside they knew that when they needed a deity with power to deliver, there was only One.

Sometimes I notice this about myself.  When I am facing difficulty, I pray almost continually.  I cry to Him and seek comfort from Him.  But in the day of ease I am easily distracted by ten thousand things and forget that I need Him just as much then.  It seems that about that time another crisis hits to remind me.

Oh, that I would cling to Him in the day of ease as I do in the day of trouble!