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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

August 13 2023

Today, Sunday August 13

A Desire and Delight to Meet with God

Psalm 84:1-12

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

“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 was written by a godly Levite who was one of the sons of Korah. As I was reading Psalm 42 yesterday, I realized it was also written by one of the sons of Korah. I got excited thinking how these two Psalms go together to give us a wonderful picture of the longing for these men to go on pilgrimage back to the house of God in Jerusalem.

Here are a few verses from Psalm 42:1-4: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, "Where is your God?" When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.” Please take time to read these two Psalms in their entirety and notice how similar they are!

Here in Psalm 84, this Levite makes several affirmations. In verses 1-4, he first declares that his delight Is in the Lord and in His House. In his opening statement, the psalmist said two things: "The temple or tabernacle is lovely and beautiful" and "his heart and flesh both cry out to be there and experience the presence of the living God."

In both the tabernacle in the wilderness and Solomon’s temple, the very presence of God dwelt between the Cherubims that were over the Ark of the Covenant. It was the dwelling place of the Lord, His house (vv. 4, 10), the place where His glory dwelt in the midst of His people (26:8). Although God doesn't live today in manmade buildings (Acts 7:47-50), He does live and dwell in the hearts and bodies of His believers in the person of the Holy Spirit. And when two are three of His people are gathered together in His name, Jesus promised He would be in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).

The church building is not the church, but we should still show special reverence toward the place that has set apart for God’s people to meet in. We can worship God anytime and anywhere, but special places and stated rituals are important in structuring our worship experience. The important thing is that we have a heart devoted to the Lord, a spiritual "appetite" that cries out for nourishing fellowship with the Lord (42:1-4; Matt. 5:6).

This psalmist cried out for God with his entire being. He envied the birds that were permitted to nest in the temple courts, near the altar, as well as the priests and Levites who lived and worked in the sacred precincts (v. 4). How easy it is for us to take for granted the privilege of worshiping "the living God" (Psalm 115:1-8), a privilege purchased for us on the cross.

Today, does your heart burn with a desire to meet with the Lord in worship with other believers! If not, right now would be a good time to ask the Lord to give you that desire. You can start by determining that you will not just go to church to sing some songs, hear a message and meet with some friends, but with a sincere heart to hear from God Himself and experience His presence in your own life!

God bless!

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