84:1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
84:2 My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
84:3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
84:4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah
84:5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
84:6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
84:7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
84:8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
84:9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.
84:10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.
84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.
84:12 O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Traveling to Jerusalem and into the temple to worship God was a journey that the Jewish nation happily participated in. It was a time in which they could celebrate being in God’s presence and remembering all that He’s done for them. There is the attitude of joy and excitement towards the idea of worshipping God.
This too should also be our response when it comes to praising God. I love to sing worship songs. However, it should not just be reserved for Sunday morning practice. It should be something I happily and joyfully pursue everyday not only in song but in my every day life.
Here I believe the Psalmist outlines for us three main ideas that we find owe joyfully worship God.
- We Find a Home In His Presence (vs 1-3): God’s dwelling place is described as “lovely”. This is an indication of someone who finds joy in being in the presence of God and what our hearts ought toe pursue daily. There is also the mention of the sparrow and how the Psalmist describes that even the birds can make a nest and a home in the Lord’s temple.
- We find Strength in His presence (5-9): In these verses we learn the lesson that the Psalmist found strength during the long journey to the temple in the idea that they will soon be in His presence and worshipping God. One commentator says “there was anticipation of joyous worship of God in Jerusalem over came the pilgrims natural weariness in their difficult journey”
- We Find Satisfaction In His Presence (10-12). The Psalmist concludes by saying that even spending one day in God’s presence is better then spending a thousand years elsewhere. This statement paints a beautiful picture of the ultimate satisfaction we should have in when we are in God’s presence. It also points to the fact that there is nothing on this earth that can ever satisfy outside of making Christ the centre of our hearts.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:10)
How great it is to be in the presence and light of the Lord. Speaking personally as someone who was not born into a Christian family or a religious one, I never take for granted how much of a blessing it is to be in the grace of God and not living in the world’s system.
I’ve had non-Christian friends find it strange that people worship God in church. They don’t understand why Christians have such adoration for God. But that is because they have not encountered the Lord yet. When I first became a Christian I witnessed God’s goodness in miraculous ways. One could never fully encounter God and not become devoted.
I would personally charge all who read this to seek the Lord and expect miracles.
“There is nothing small about our God, and when we understand God, we will find out that there ought not to be anything small about us. We must have an enlargement of our conception of God, then we will know that we have come to a place where all things are possible, for our God is an omnipotent God for impossible positions.” (Smith Wigglesworth)