I’ve recently been memorizing and meditating on Psalm 84. I’ve officially deposited it into memory. I have enjoyed the Psalm, so much that I wanted to share my thoughts on each verse with you out there. I hope that God encourages you as He has me!
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts!
To dwell where God dwells is satisfying and enjoyable. The house that is spoken of is the temple, but it is not the case for those born again in Christ. We become the dwelling!
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you!
1 Corinthians 3:16
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Having tasted and experienced something as good and gratifying as God, the soul longs for more of it. The Psalmist has known the presence of God and longs for it with a great desire. The Psalmist notes that singing to God brings joy to the singer. This is the first use of singular pronouns. The Psalm transitions between proclamation(plural pronouns: those) and prayers (singular pronouns: My).
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.
There is a place for all people, both young and old, with God. He is the host of all hosts providing shelter for even the weakest and most dispensable things. (a sparrow)
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!
Happy are the people who dwell with God and sing for joy to Him, they could do it forever! They are not alone they are doing it with friends. The joy, love, and peace of God is for all, but is limited to those who receive the gift of God’s inhabitation through Christ.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Happy is the one who finds strength from God. Strength when their strength is exhausted and they shouldn’t be able to move forward. Happy are those who are given the road to God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the road and must be proclaimed and thus infused into the heart of people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
Verses 5 and 6 are connected. Verse 6 is foolish and untrue without first experiencing verse 5. The Valley of Tears is made into a place of springs. The crying saints bring living water and life through the tears they cry in the valley of tragedy, suffering and sickness. God uses the believer in the struggle to be an agent of change. We can change the circumstance through the strength that God gives. We also note that God sends rain to aid the tears in bringing living water to the desert of destruction. In other words we are not alone in the valley!
Jesus said, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
They move from strength to strength each one appearing before God in Zion.
Those who find strength in God find it step by step, situation by situation, day by day. I find the eternal destination of heaven here. The ultimate presence of God is found when the steps day after day end with a destination before God.
O Lord God of Hosts, hear my prayer give ear O God of Jacob.
The Psalm turns singular in nature. It becomes more than just a proclamation or reminder about God’s presence, but becomes a prayer of the writer. A begging of God to inhabit his praise and to hear his prayer, to give His attention.
Behold, our shield O God; look on the face of your anointed!
The only hope of having the ear of God is through the anointed and upright One, the shield between man and God, the anointed One. He gives us audience with God and opportunity to be heard. He is our intercessor. His name is Jesus!
For a day in your courts is better than 1000 elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
This is the most famous verse of this Psalm. The psalmist would rather be with God than anywhere in the world or with any other person. He would rather be a slave with monotonous and lowly duties in God’s house, than the owner of a tent of wicked and unrighteous gain.
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.
The Psalmist now turns to praising and adoring God. He ascribes God the honor of giving life and protecting life. He also gives God the place of showing and bestowing favor and honor. God gives to those who walk in His ways. It should be noted that God is gracious and gives to all, but does honor the righteous. The only truly righteous one is Jesus Christ.
O Lord of Hosts, Blessed is the one who trusts in you!
The Psalm again ends with a singular challenge. Are you trusting in God? In other words, your strength, appetite, and relationship with God begins with trusting Him. Without trusting Him we find no step into His presence.