How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
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.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early 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
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
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 bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! – Psalm 84 (ESV)
James Mays writes:
From its opening exclamation to its concluding beatitude, the psalm celebrates the joys afforded by the dwelling of God with mortals. Because the temple on Zion’s mount was a place of God’s presence, longing for God took the historic form of pilgrimage. The dwelling place of God is beloved and sought out because the soul yearns for God. The appeal of the holy place is first of all religious, not aesthetic. Even birds find the sanctuary a desirable place to nest, says the psalm. Pilgrims with their minds set on the highways to Zion seem to bring the early rains with them as they go from strength to strength on their way to appear before the God of Zion. One day in the temple courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. It is better to stand at the threshold of the house of God than to be a resident with the wicked.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 81
Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.