A Longing for the House of God
By: Alfredo M. Inso Jr.
Are you excited when Sunday (the day of the Lord) is approaching? Are your hearts burning to go to the house of God where we can praise and worship Him together with His people?
May the Lord our God bless this sermon and it will bring conviction and encouragement for all of us at the same time.
Our text is found in the book of Psalms 84. Psalms means Songs. So the book of Psalms simply means the book of songs.
“The title of this Psalm does not bear the name of David, but as its subject matter is applicable to him, he was in all probability its author.”
- John Calvin’s Commentary on Psalms pp. 325.
(Read Psalms 84)
David expresses his deep longings, his desires, his affection for the house of God or the dwelling place of God. I don’t know exactly whether David speaks here of a literal tabernacle or the heavenly dwelling place of God. But what matters most to me is the content of this song was the Psalmist longing due to his affection for the dwelling place of God.
In his deep longing and attractiveness of God’s sanctuary, he even called it “lovely.” It is something like a very beautiful and attractive place to go and live with.
I’m sure that David was not looking to it’s outward appearnce or stature or its decorations, but it is more than that, surely and definitely that David was looking to the one who lives in it. It is therefore not for David the dwelling place of God a boring or an undesirable place to to be with as the others would think.
In fact his soul, as the very core of his being, longeth for and even faints for the courts of the Lord. Just like someone who was being prevented to come and to draw near close to the one whom he really loved. Or like a new born child who craved and desired pure milk from the breast of his beloved mother.
His heart and flesh cry out for the living God. Not his soul only longs after the courts of the LORD, the dwelling place of God, the tabernacle of the LORD of hosts, but also his heart and flesh cry out for the living God.
Ah! this is the very reason of his longings and its not only for the dwelling place of the LORD but the one who lives in it. The true and living God of Israel. He is not the God who lives in the temples made with hands, but He is the God who fills heaven and earth and created all things and gives life to all His creatures.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, whrere she may lay her young – in Your altars O LORD of hosts. My King and my God.
Probably the Psalmist here, while he was beholding the house of the LORD, he saw these little innocent flying creatures who had an access to go freely in the house of the Lord and find a resting place, a home, a nest where they may put their young (little ones) even in the altars of the LORD.
The Psalmist called the dwellers of the house of the LORD “Blessed”. Like the holy angels of God and all the heavenly hosts, who don’t have rest praisng and worshiping God. What an awesome privelege to offer and give sacrifices of praise to God in His temple. This is the very purpose of the worshipers of God who dwell in His temple they are to give praises to him forever and still ever praising Him, who is worthy to receive glory and honor and power forever. Amen.
Blessed are you when you are in the house of God, who sing praises to His name. So make it more early to come if possible to the house of God where His people are about to sing praises to His name.
Blessed also is the man whose strength is not in himself, but in God. The sustainer and the giver and the source of his might that causes him to endure and persevere the journey of his life. No matter how great the toils and hardships might come in his pilgrimage (the journey of his life) God is the strength of his heart and it sustained him. He is blessed because he’d better chose to trust God than to trust himself.
As they passed through the
“They go from strength to strength” This phrase is a parallel of what apostle Paul have said in his epistle to the Romans, “from faith to faith” therefore from first to last of their pilgrimage they will no doubt persevere because of God’s stregnth to strength that rest on them. The God who began a good work in them is able also to complete it. No any form of hardships nor difficulties can put a stop of the godly, hastening their way until they get to the dwelling place of God and thereby beholding His holy countenance. His infinite and awesome beauty and there they will praise Him and worship Him all the days of their life.
“O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer” This is the cry of the Psalmist. Give ear O God of Jacob. Asking God and pleading Him to hearken his cry, to take heed of his prayer, of his longings, of his desires, the outpouring of love and affection of his soul.
David here expresses his utter dependence and humility unto God that he can do nothing apart from God’s divine favour, as Christians can do nothing apart from Christ.
God is the shield of David as he called it. The shield signifies as a weapon of defense and protection from the countless bows and arrows of the adversaries.
God is his protection that defended him against his enemies. So is true to all the people of God. The LORD of heaven and earth is their shield. Even the evil one can’t touch can do no harm against the people of God.
David rightly understood the value, the preciousness and the importance of God’s dwelling place where the true and living God lives.
The Psalmist said, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand.” Or “Better is the one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” I would rather be a doorkeeper of the house of God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
David rather chose a day in the courts of God and to be a doorkeeper of His house than a thousand days and spent most of the time in waste dwelling in the tents of the wicked doing wickedness.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.
Nor stands in the path of the sinners;
Nor sits not in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates
day and night.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I have desired of the LORD;
That will I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to inquire in His temple;
5 For in the day of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavillion;
In the secret place of His tabenacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around
me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes I will sing praises to the LORD.
Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You;
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
David declares that he desires nothing, neither in heaven or in earth, except God alone, and that without God, all other objects which usually draws the hearts of men towards them are unattractive to him, are nothing to David compared to God.
He find his satisfaction in God alone. His longings, his desires, his affections are set on one thing – God alone. He is his everything and all other things are simply nothing to him.
His desires is to dwell in the house of God all the days of his life and not in this world with its pleasures and its lusts. To behold the beauty of the LORD was his desire for God is altogether lovely.
The beauty and charm of this world is passing and deceitful and is subject to decay and destruction. But the beauty of the LORD is eternal, infinite and unchanging. He is forever and eternally beautiful beyond description!
His heart and his flesh may deceived and be tempted and failed, but God is the strength of his heart. God’s grace is sufficient for him and His strength is made complete in his weaknesses.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing that He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts blessed is the man who trusts in You.
Are your longings and desires are the same as David? Do you long to live in the dwelling place of God? Is God your desire? Is God your everything? Would you dare to say better is one day in your courts in your house o Lord than to waste my whole time in this world with its pleasures and lusts?
Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” and “It is better to be absent in the body and to be present with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We need to learn to be satisfied in God and in Christ alone. Our longings and desires and our affections should set on Him alone. And to dwell in His temple is not a boring place to be with for Christians. It is in fact a lovely place because God dwells in it.
May we have a heart like David. More love to Christ and to behold His beauty for He is our everything, to have Christ is to have all things. We need nothing than Christ. He is the our life our salvation our righteousness. Therefore Love Christ more than your life.