Lord, I am amazed at Your abundant mercy and Your lavish care. You are great and I praise Your name.
Read Psalm 84:1-12
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Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient” (Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955). Take time to rest in and wait for him.
We live in a fast-moving world. Instant access to most things is promised and assumed. Information, shopping opportunities and communication are sought at the touch of a computer button. In a few days, the political hub of a nation can be replaced. The clamor for swift results and the constant feeling of haste can play havoc with our souls. We may expect the things of God–prayer, conversion, holiness–to be just as speedy, but Psalm 84 puts this in perspective.
This is a song of deep longing mixed with joy. At a time when worshipers met God in a special way at the temple in Jerusalem, the psalmist feels an ache to be there. He is desperate to be in God’s presence because the Lord means everything to him. He bubbles over with praise to the “living God” (2). The majestic “Lord Almighty” is also personal, “my King” (3). The God of duplicitous people like Jacob (8) provides for vulnerable, innocent sparrows and swallows (3). The Lord is a sun, bringing light and life. He is a shield granting protection and shelter. No wonder the psalmist prizes time with God above everything.
This intimate, all-consuming relationship cannot be grabbed. It is not available to dip in and out on a “needs must” basis. The picture of pilgrimage (5-7) is helpful, whether a physical journey to the Feast of Tabernacles or a metaphor for a lifelong walk with God. Although he is always with us, we cannot rush into his presence without preparation and care. In the times of grueling slog and dryness, the company of other travelers and times of refreshment offer us strength to persevere and anticipate meeting with God. Even when we feel far from him, we are encouraged to trust in his goodness and generosity (11,12).
What makes worship dull or exciting for you? What is the difference between private or corporate worship? How does this psalm make you feel about God’s role in your life choices?
Mighty God, I celebrate Your presence with Your people, especially me. I ask for You to create in me a new desire to walk with You and know Your presence.
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