How lovely is your dwelling place,Psalm 84:1-4 NIV
My soul yearns, 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 have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
The psalmist who wrote this is most likely referring to the joy he experienced when he was able to come to the temple and participate in worship there. The temple was thought to be God’s dwelling place on earth. So what better place could there be than the temple. At the temple, he was with God, and his heart was full. But there was an emptiness in the psalmist heart whenever he was away from the temple. So his desire was always to be there.
The Joy of Being In God’s Dwelling Place
This passage speaks to my heart in two different ways. The first concerns the gathering of the saints on Sunday mornings. That is usually the highlight of my week. I know that God does not dwell in the building we meet in in any special sense. But where God’s people are gathered, he is there with us. And I find joy in that gathering and special experience of God’s presence.
But this passage also speaks to an even greater longing. The longing to be more fully in God’s presence. A longing that will be unfulfilled while living in the flesh on this earth. But that will be fulfilled in that eternal life that God has called me to and even now is preparing me for. In the words of a recent song, I can only image what it will be like when I stand in God’s presence. How awesome and amazing that will be. And the older I get, and closer to that time, the more I long for it.
How lovely is your dwelling place,