HOME IS WHERE THE LORD IS
Lord, how I love to attend church services.
Read PSALM 84
For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.[c]
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield,[e] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
a Psalm 84:1 In Hebrew texts 84:1-12 is numbered 84:2-13.
b Psalm 84:1 Title: Probably a musical term
c Psalm 84:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 8.
d Psalm 84:6 Or blessings
e Psalm 84:9 Or sovereign
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“How lovely are your dwelling places … ! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD … A day in your courts is better than a thousand outside” (Ps 84:1,2,10, NASB).
What a contrast to the story of Jonah that we will be reading in a few weeks! Jonah runs from God and ends up calling to Him from the depths of the ocean, from death, and from the grave. The psalmist runs to God, rejoicing in His dwelling places and feels as if he belongs there. In the Book of Jonah, the animals play strange roles; here there is order in creation. Like the psalmist, the birds also have a home (3). The psalmist then moves on to talk about springs and fertile land (6).
People sometimes speak as if a holy or godly life is a restricted, miserable life, while a life of freedom without God leads to happiness. This is a reversal of the truth. There are crosses to bear, but a life lived in God’s presence brings peace, security, joy, and contentment. The psalmist recognizes that those who put their strength in God
are blessed and, in fact, go from strength to strength (5–7), for God likes to give good things to those who walk uprightly (11). There are times of grief and there may be long days of loneliness and even persecution. Perhaps most of us, however, forget how much God has given us and barely stop to think as we read the psalm that, yes, how blessed are those who trust in Him (12)! Jesus reiterated this thought when He proclaimed, “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NASB).
If we are honest, we may not regard standing at the threshold of the house of our God as better than dwelling in the tents of the wicked (10), for we are rather comfortable ith our little sins. We might need to pray for the psalmist’s perspective.
Please God, help me to learn to love You with all that I am and do. Help me to dwell in Your courts and to put my strength in You.