Psalm 84 (NRSV)
How lovely is God's dwelling place
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
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.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
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.
O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
In today’s reading the psalmist prays a most earnest prayer out of his heart! It is the prayer of my heart during this Lenten Journey and it may be your prayer too!
He writes, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.”
In other words, the psalmist is writing a love letter to God talking about how beautiful the Temple in Jerusalem is and how very much he wants to be in God’s presence! Back in his day, people made pilgrimage to Jerusalem just to worship in God’s holy house. They crossed dry valleys where there was little water, all in an effort to find a place of worship and forgiveness.
Today, we don’t have to travel thousands of miles to get into the presence of God; but, that does not mean that we should take God’s presence for granted!
The Psalmist said, “Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere!” Right now, we have the presence of the precious Holy Spirit to be with us on our journeys. Whether we are experiencing the joy of a mountaintop experience, the grief of the valley, or the spiritual thirst of the driest deserts, God has promised “never to leave us nor forsake us.” In today’s psalm, the writer promises that God will be everything that we need for the journey—illuminating the darkness, protecting us from harm, and granting us honor and favor.
As we make pilgrimage through this journey called “life,” let us appreciate the presence of Spirit all around us; but let us also never fail to keep our eyes steadfastly fixed upon our eternal home!
I don’t know about you, but I am daily reminded that I am a stranger, or an alien, on this Earth. I am looking forward to that glad and glorious day when I will be permitted to enter into eternal rest in my forever home with God!
Won’t that be an awesome day?! Revelation 21:4 says that there will come a great day when God will establish a new heaven and a new earth. In that land God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
Is it no wonder the psalmist sings, “My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God…Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise”?
Thank God for Jesus who makes it possible for us to experience the opportunity to live in God’s house and to forever sing God’s praises!
Will you take time to notice God’s presence with you today?
All Powerful God, thank you that you chose to make pilgrimage with us, upon the Earth, in Jesus Christ! Thank you that Jesus can relate to our joys, sorrows, griefs, and pains. Thank you for what you accomplished upon the cross making provision for my sins through the blood of Jesus. Please forgive me for all of the times and seasons of my life that I have not noticed you walking with me. I remember and honor your presence today. Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but thou art mighty; hold me with thy powerful hand. Amen.
Good News has now added a prayer ministry. If you have a prayer request or praise report, or would like to pray for others, please click the link found under my profile picture. You can also access the prayer page directly at http://www.kindlejoy.com/groups/goodnews
The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. You can purchase the book through the Good News Living Store or anywhere else good books are sold! Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/