August 22, 2021
Tennessee Valley District
How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place
Psalm 84 (NRSV)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
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.
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.
4 Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.Selah
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
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.
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.
12 O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Why do we go to church? Why do we worship God?
For some, church is a weekly obligation like doing the laundry, mowing the grass, going to the grocery store, or paying the bills. But for others, worshipping God is an integral part of their lives. They come to church excited about worshipping God and being with His people. It all depends on our mindset, attitude, and motivation.
David speaks about this issue in Psalm 84. This psalm was probably written when David was forced to leave Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion, and he is upset about leaving God’s house. He says he would rather be in God’s house than be at the golf course, the Dollywood theme park, or even a Tennessee football game. Why? David would rather be in God’s house because he loves God’s presence. He isn’t yearning for the building, but for the presence of the Lord. God’s house represents the place where he can go to meet with God.
I wonder, do we feel this way today? Is there a longing in us for God’s house, the place we can meet with God? Is there a longing for God’s presence?
Too much of religious life today is made up of busyness. We focus on programs and strategies to build up church membership and perform good deeds. While these things certainly have their value, what’s missing today is something basic to our faith. It’s the intense presence of God, as the Holy Spirit, who fills and floods our lives.
David was seeking the presence of God with everything in him. What about us? What efforts are we engaged in, what things are we invested in, so that we might experience God’s presence? Seek God with your whole heart because worship is really a lifestyle. A way of life that provides you with strength for today and every day.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Prayer (Psalm 27:4)
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Amen.