Psalm 84

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 22, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 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. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84:1-4)

Is there anything in life that you yearn for like this psalmist yearns for God’s presence? Even the things that I’ve wanted most in this life don’t compare to God’s presence, and it’s what we should long for with all our being - to be in the presence of our Creator God.

In Old Testament times, it was believed that God’s dwelling place was the temple, or the tabernacle prior to when the temple was built. The Israelites believed they needed to go to that physical place to truly be in God’s presence and to worship Him. We know that God is omnipresent, but God can make His presence known in certain places, such as the temple.

Have you ever felt closer to God when worshiping Him with His Church, rather than throughout the rest of your week? That’s often because of where our attention is focused. God has not gotten more distant as we go to work, cook dinner, clean the house, or perform the other responsibilities in our daily lives, but we’re simply less aware of His presence because we’re focused on other things.

Here in the beginning of this psalm, the psalmist’s total attention is focused on the Lord Almighty, his King and his God. That’s what his soul is truly yearning for. Even while he does not feel as though he is in God’s presence, his soul longs to be with God in that place.

Verse 3 mentions the sparrow and the swallow finding their homes near God’s altar. These were very common birds, so that seems out of place to connect them to the Almighty God and His dwelling place. But, this shows the psalmist how blessed we as humans are to also be in God’s presence! If even these lowly, common birds get to be near God, how much more blessed are we who get to serve God and be blessed by Him too!

The psalm continues in verses 5-7 to ask God’s blessing on those who travel to and from the temple to experience this presence of God. It continues in verses 8-9 to ask for God to hear his prayer and to bless His anointed one, pointing to the ruler of Israel at the time.

“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. 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” (verses 10-11).

Here, the psalm again returns to how amazing it is to be in God’s presence. Even a lowly position, such as a doorkeeper, in God’s house is way better than dwelling in the tents of the wicked, which symbolizes receiving public recognition and material wealth. Spending time in God’s presence is a thousand times better than anything else!

The psalmist knows that God blesses His people who honor Him. God restores and protects His people. Simply by being in God’s presence, the people have the opportunity to experience God’s favor and honor in their lives by walking in His ways.

This psalm closes with “Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you” (verse 12). The psalmist began the psalm by conveying his strong desire for being in God’s presence, and he ends it by encouraging everyone to seek God and trust in Him to be blessed by Him.

How great is it that we don’t need to go to a particular place to be in God’s presence! We can worship Him and spend time with Him anywhere we are. While it can help us get rid of distractions to have a designated place to focus on God, that’s not a requirement.

This psalm makes me ponder what it will be like when we’re able to be in heaven, worshiping God every moment of every day. Especially when I’m struggling through the stresses of life, I can’t think of anything more wonderful than just being able to focus on God and experience His lovely presence all the time!

Wherever you’re at right now as you’re reading this blog post, I encourage you to stop and take some time to get rid of distractions and focus on the amazing presence of God. Express to Him your desire to be in His lovely dwelling place, where it’s a thousand times better than anywhere else!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.