Monday, August 8, 2016

Abiding In The Lord

Psalm 84:1-12

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

Traditionally this Psalm was designed to be sung by the descendants of Korah, the family charged with caring for the Ark of the Covenant, and accompanied by the harp. 

“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.   Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.  Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” (Psalm 84:1-4)

The Psalmist, David, finds The Tabernacle, God’s house very pleasant.  In Navajo the word ‘hogan’ refers to the traditional round home and literally means a home.  The word ‘kin’ refers to  a square house and just means house.  In Hebrew the word Tabernacle refers to a tent, but like ‘hogan’, it actually means a home, not just the place one stays.   

David finds the Tabernacle such a place of comfort and encouragement, he longs to spend his time there, and feels a little out of place when he is not able to go to the courtyard.   He describes himself as being like the sparrows which move into a Home Depot or Lowes, finding it a more comfortable and safer home for her babies than outside.  There are no hawks or cats stalking the babies, and the temperature is controlled so there is little danger of getting too hot or freezing nor are they bothered by cold winds or rain or snow.   They are blessed to find such a safe place to live.  In the same way, those who live in God’s house everyday are blessed far beyond those outside. 

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.  Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.  They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.” (Psalm 84:5-7)

The man who depends on the Lord for his strength, and his heart is in following God’s ways.  When he is going to struggles and sorrow, the valley of baca, he makes it his source of refreshment and the blessings of the house fill every cranny in his life.  As a result, they move from blessing to blessing, with little down time between.   Every one of them experiences the presence of God.   

“O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.  Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.  For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalm 84:8-10)

David asks that God would hear his requests and honor them.  God is our protection in every situation and we have been chosen by him.  He asks that God look on his chosen with approval, because a day with the Lord is better than a lifetime without him.   As has been stated repeatedly, for those who follow God, this earth is as close to hell as we will ever get,  For those who are evil, this earth is as close to heaven as they will ever get.  It would be better to get into heaven, if it is just barely inside the gate, than to spend eternity in hell, regardless how rich and powerful you may have been on earth. 

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.  O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” (Psalm 84:11-12)

For the Christian, God is like the sun on a cold cloudy day providing light and warmth, and protecting us from the cold and from unseen dangers.  He will give his people grace, gifts and blessing far beyond what they deserve, and cause them to be honored and respected.  He will see that those who do what is right receive every good thing possible.   We are mightily blessed for trusting in God.  

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