Monday, 21 September 2009

Now but not yet

I've been enjoying Alec Motyer's brilliant little book Journey which is a devotional guide to the psalms of ascent (Psalms 120-134). These were the songs that pilgrims sang as they wound their way to Jerusalem for the three feasts each year.

One of the things that Motyer notes is that, throughout the psalms, the psalmists note that - even at the height of the Davidic covenant, at the height of Jerusalem's security and fame, and when the Temple is fully inaugurated - there must be more to come. Psalm 122, for instance, celebrates the throngs gathered for worship in Zion (verses 1-5), yet the need to pray for the future peace and prosperity of Jerusalem remains (verses 6-9). There is more to come. New Testament readers know that this is the new Jerusalem of Hebrews 12 and Revelation 21-22.

Reading Psalm 27 today with my boss Tim, we noticed something that is perhaps similar. David longs to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of his life - yet, this is something that as a member of the tribe of Judah (and therefore not a Levite or a priest) was not accessible to him. Yet David longs to seek the face of the LORD. Is this perhaps another occasion where the psalmists point beyond themselves, prophetically knowing that there is more to come?


Anonymous said...


aled seago said...

Psalm 27 is my favourite Psalm, and yes, all the way through it is clear that David is waiting. Verse 13 for example, yes he is in Jerusalem but like you say, he cannot look upon God's face now. Surely he is thinking towards the future, towards the New Creation where God's promises of land, people and blessing will be fully realised. As he says in verse 14 "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD."