Bible Reading: Psalm 84

Psalm 84
How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, 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. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.  5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength. Every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. 9 Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You! What wonderful, wonderful words of affection we read in today’s selection of Psalm 84.  The Psalmist expresses love for God’s laws, and his desire to be in the courts of the Lord.  Here the word court refers to an enclosed area attached to God’s dwelling place.  Many of us have courts, or yards, next to, or behind our homes.  Normally, these are places of refuge; where kids can play, or where parents can relax after a long day of work.  Yards can provide a bit of a safe zone from the outside world.  They can be places of contemplation and protection from danger that may lurk just beyond the fences.  There is a certain level of peace that is associated with being in one’s own backyard.

Consider then the magnitude of solace that can be derived from making the courts of the Lord our desire.  How can we experience the joy and security of being in God’s courts?  One sure way is to seek to always obey His laws.  In the first verses of Psalm 1 we see that a blessed man does not find company with bad people.  Rather, his yearning is to meditate on the Word of God day and night.  The results are prosperity in whatever is undertaken.

Wouldn’t it be pleasing to reside in the comfort and serenity of our backyards always?  The reality is that we cannot avoid daily venturing out into the real world.  But there is another reality.  Wherever we go, or whatever we do, we can take the Law of the Lord with us.  This requires discipline and consistency in keeping the Word on our hearts and in our minds.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “pray without ceasing.”  In Psalm 119: 15-16 the author writes “I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways.  I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your Word.”

By adhering to these verses, and other similar verses, we not only fortify our standing with the Lord, but we are also becoming more and more Christ-like in the process.  This should be the goal of every believer, to become more and more like Jesus.  With diligent application of these concepts we can greatly increase the likelihood of ensuring that no matter where we might be, or what activity we may be involved in, we will never depart from the courts of our Heavenly Father.  Have a great day!

Weekly Memory Verse:  How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.  Psalm 84:1-2