Jul 25, 2012

Psalm 84

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, 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 lay her young—Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!"
-Psalm 84
Those who are God's, it seems, find great joy in the things that are God's. They love what is holy. They crave to be near a holy God. They rejoice to obey His holy law. They delight in holy relationship with others that are holy.

"My heart and flesh cry out for the living God..." this is no religion of dead works or empty practice of goodness! This is a deep, a holy relationship with God who lives, and works, and speaks, and hovers over us. It is the cry of a heart that says: "God, I long for You so desperately that I am willing to remove anything, ANYTHING in my life that would separate You and I. Remove from me the habits that keep me from being transformed daily into Your image. I don't want to offer empty praise that is void of heartfelt worship. I want to kneel time after time at the feet of my Savior and be changed by Him. I want to meet face-to-face as friends, as companions. I want to be yoked together WITH Him in the same holy, living work."

"How lovely is Your Tabernacle..." then later, "For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness."
His altars will be my home forever, as a sparrow is at home in her nest. Here, in His Tabernacle, I want to stay. Here in the continual cycle of sacrifice and resurrection; daily laying myself before Him, daily being raised up by Him. To dwell here and wait in constant attendance on my God - what a lovely thought. Forever right at His side, waiting for a word, a touch, a glance to indicate His desire. Imagine! I'd rather be the lowliest of all servants here in the most blessed of places, than to roll in riches where I never catch a glimpse of His face. 'Blessed are those who dwell in Your house' the Psalmist reminds me. Blessed, happy, to be greatly envied are we who are so privileged as to spend our days in the presence of our Lord.

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You..."
How happy are those who don't do their own will their own way, but who lean on the strength of their God. They will find that they are never without strength so long as they are doing His work with Him. the Everlasting God is the support of the obedient.

"...Whose heart is set on pilgrimage..."
My gaze is to be set on the New Jerusalem. I am to live always as one of her citizens, abiding by her laws, loyal to her people, devoted to her King, homesick for her beauty.  I am to be so set on her that when I walk through the desert, I dig deep into the sand to find the pools running far underground that are like her own springs, and the desert becomes luscious and beautiful like my own homeland. Where is my gaze? My home? My identity? Is my heart SET on pilgrimage? Am I glad to leave everything behind to follow close to my God? When people look at me, is it obvious that I am a citizen of heaven?

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory..."
He is my rear-guard and forward motion. Like the pillar of fire for the Israelites, He lights my way and holds my enemies at bay. He gives grace - His goodwill toward me, His good work within me. He gives glory - the favor of the Lord which no man can disprove or deny. "NO GOOD THING does He withhold from those that walk uprightly". In the end, when all is said and done, I admit without hesitation that I have no regrets in serving God. I have given up nothing that He hasn't returned ten-fold. I have made no sacrifice worthy of the blessing I have received. I gave up fear, and pride, and self-loathing. I received a home, an identity, love, security, and blessing. Let me never say the road is too hard or the pilgrimage too long when He illuminates my way, hedges me on every side, makes me an heir and child, and then - to top it all - showers me with every good thing...and all I have to do is follow Him.

Yes, He has left me no alternative than to praise Him once again.


Post a Comment