One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
There are two things happening here. If the second was not so hard on the heels of the first, I would save it for another day, but the Psalmist says that his safe-keeping is a by-product of his seeking, and I do believe it. I have experienced it, and you can likely say the same.
Let’s look first to the first. Psalm 27 begins with a resounding volley of proclamation: The Lord is my light! The Lord is my salvation! Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life! Of whom shall I be afraid?
This does sound just a little bit like someone facing dangers, and the next passage illustrates:
When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell; though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.
This does not sound much like someone who has to imagine what it would be like to face a very real danger. King David knew of danger from within as well as from without, and he left us a mountain of evidence that spiritual enemies can be defeated, and must be defeated, as surely as he knew how to survive in the wilderness.
Father God! I can get myself into the Secret Place of Your Presence. I can know the beauty
. . . and the safety . . . of Your temple and Your shelter.
I wish I could carry my dear, lost friends into this place of rest and loveliness and security, but I cannot, except just in this way: I am here with you, and I bring them with me. I say their names before You, I recall to Your perfect remembrance how desperate and destroyed they have become, how desolate, how defeated, how endangered they are without You, and I say, too, how much I love them.
Remember, O my God, how You brought me from doubt and fear to faith and hope, and do for these beloved friends what You have done for me.
That will be sufficient, for You have done all and more than I ever asked or imagined, my Lord and my God.
Blenheim Palace, seat of the Duke’s of Marlborough
by permission, Wikipedia