Oh, how I long to dwell in the Lord’s house! This is the theme of David in this Psalter versification of Psalm 84.We are reminded of how glorious it is to dwell with God. God cares for His own and protects them. We also reflect on the great joy and blessings that are found when relying on God.
David begins by speaking of the tabernacles and courts of God. We know in the Old Testament that was where God dwelt with His people. David appears at this time in his life to be unable to visit the tabernacle of God. David longs, even faints to see the courts of God. Do we ever long to attend Church? We have been blessed with the ability to worship God unhindered and I fear that we take this for granted. We have a great privilege to hear God’s word preached to us.
David emphasizes the idea of the preciousness of being in the house of God again in stanza five. Here David expresses that a day in God’s courts is better than a thousand in the tents of wickedness. That makes us think about how much we often enjoy our sins and dwelling in the tents of wickedness. Many times we feel it is a chore to attend church or Bible study. Here David reminds us of how important the time in God’s house is to our spiritual life. We remember that it is our spiritual life that really matters and not our earthly life. David speaks of this in a time of absence from the house of God. May we not require an absence from God to appreciate what He has given to us.
The Lord takes care of the birds, how much more will He take care of us. The sparrow is mentioned as finding a place of rest as well as the swallow a place to build a nest. God cares for all the creatures of His creation. We learn of this care of God for His people in other passages of Scripture such as Matthew 6:28-30 “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” We can live in the confidence that God will provide all that we need, not all that we want.
In the third stanza, we see David returning to the idea of abiding in the house of God. God blesses those who abide in His house and trust in Him. David speaks of giving praise to God, which we know to be one of the ways to abide in God’s house. We attend church as a part of our thankfulness to God and to praise His name.
God’s people have His ways in their hearts and trust in Him. God provides the grace that is necessary for all of our difficulties and struggles. This becomes the strength of God’s people. We know that this grace upholds us and keeps us in His care. Grace, worked in us by the Spirit of God, gives us strength to continue onward in our journey. We know that many in the history of the church have fought battles and suffered tribulations through which God has sustained them. He will also sustain us. This stanza continues on to speak of the gathering of the elect in Zion’s gates. What a glorious day that shall be!
This Psalter versification closes by reminding us that God will be our shield. That God will give His grace and glory to His people. We are also reminded to live a Godly life as an act of thanksgiving to God for His gift of grace. “O Lord of Hosts, most blest is he who puts his steadfast trust in Thee.”