“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and 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. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah Blessed 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; each one appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah 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 dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!” Psalm 84
I heard this Psalm Sunday, and as is so often the case, it felt like God had orchestrated the service just for me. I’m in a season right now of seeking Him in a new way. I’m overwhelmed by how much I need Him to get through each day. My soul longs for Him anew!
I’m so thankful for the promise of these verses. “They go from strength to strength.” God has already provided the strength we need. We just have to walk, one step in front of the other, and He has new strength waiting there for us!
It’s also another Psalm that challenges me to look at my heart and examine myself. Better is a day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere. When I heard this for the first time many years ago, I related those words to heaven. I still believe that is the main meaning of these verses, but Sunday they hit me in a new way. To be in His courts can also mean to be with Him. In fellowship with Him, living surrendered to His will, whatever and wherever that means you are. One day living in God’s will is better than a thousand anywhere else.
Maybe I’m not the first to think of the verses in that light, but for me it was new, and just the words I needed to hear.