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"One thing ... desired" Psalm 27.4

H St John

For this we must turn to David and read Psalm 27. The second strophe, in which our phrase occurs, passes from the citadel to the shrine, and reveals the deep fixed longings of one who was being hunted as a partridge on the mountains but who knew that a clear constant vision of God was possible.

The desires of David were born and registered in his Psalm within caves and on mountain slopes; he longed for the stated services of the Tabernacle, the priestly processions, the psalms of praise, the sounding of the silver trumpets, the incense and the offerings.

For us, these shadows of the past have melted and we are resting in the realities which they represented. The entrance into the holiest, the privilege of access, the one completed sacrifice and the fragrance of the Name of Jesus have taken the place of tangible symbols, but I wonder whether our hunger is sharp as David's was?

The virtue of Christ's Name lies in its saving power, itself being God's pledge of our salvation. Some leaves only yield their perfume when pressed, and it is as the slain Lamb, bruised for our iniquities, that He gives forth His fullest fragrance.

Jean Paul Richter writes: "The crucified Jew, being the holiest amongst the mighty, the mightiest amongst the holy, has lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channel, and still governs the ages and all our almanacs, recording in unconscious prose the power of that glorious Name".


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