Psalm 84 is a beautiful declaration of love for God and expression of a desire to know Him more.
How I long to be there—my soul is spent,
wanting, waiting to walk in the courts of the Eternal.
My whole being sings joyfully
to the living God.
The writer longs to be in God’s presence, in His dwelling place. The Temple was a huge part of Israelite worship of Yahweh. It was there that sacrifices were offered for forgiveness, for praise, to demonstrate their worship. It was there the community gathered to remember the great and mighty deeds of the Lord of Hosts. It was there, in the Holy of Holies that God dwelled and met with man.
The King James Version says:
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
I wonder how long it is since we had such a desire to be in God’s presence that it made us physically weak – close to fainting? God now lives within us by His Holy Spirit. We don’t have to wait for a once a year visit to a building, trekking on a pilgrimage through the desert and across mountains to reach His presence. In a very real way, we are constantly privileged to walk in those courts because of His presence in our hearts. Shouldn’t that make a difference in the way we live our lives?
Just one day in the courts of Your temple is greater
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather serve as a porter at my God’s doorstep
than live in luxury in the house of the wicked.
The psalmist had his priorities in order. He had no desire to be famous, rich, powerful. His sole (and soul) desire, was to be in God’s presence. Even standing at the door to open it for others to come in would have been enough if it meant he was on the inside of that door. If it meant he could be in God’s presence even at a distance.
Again, I ask myself why I am too often forgetful of the fact God dwells within me? I don’t have to stand afar off and hope for a glimpse of Him when a door opens and closes. He isn’t making me wait for some future date when I can have an audience. I’m not left in the cold while others bask in His presence somehow closer than I am allowed to be.
I am one of the blessed who lives with God. One day it will be physically in eternity for sure but today, every day it is spiritually true because He is good. He has made His dwelling place in me, and in you. Constantly in His presence … that should cause us to reevaluate the way we speak, act, think.