1.) How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
2.) My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Psalm 84 is a psalm that was sung by worshippers as they approached the holy temple in Jerusalem. Many times, these were pilgrims who were returning to the temple to worship their one true God. Jews would come to Jerusalem from all corners of the earth to sacrifice and worship on the holy days of their faith.
Can you hear the delight in the voice of the singers in these introductory verses? They have been longing to return to the temple, where their living God dwells. Perhaps it has been an entire year, or longer, since they have been able to bow down before God Almighty (LORD!) and repent their sins and revel in the glory that is God's presence.
Jewish worship was not quiet and orderly. No, far from it! There were instruments, and singing of praises, and even joyous dancing. And don't forget the noise of the crowds of people and the animal sacrifices being brought to the altars. There would have been quite a din! Oh, what a sweet sound to God's ears, for the LORD to hear His people singing praises!
I can imagine wanting to return to such a place, a place where worship is all-consuming. Where a worshipping soul is satisfied. Where the one True God was dwelling in the Holy of Holies.
And that is where I want to dwell, too, in the presence of my Creator and Sustainer.
My purpose in joining the "Made to Crave" bible study is to re-focus my mind on God. To crave time in His presence. To stop making choices which do not honor Him alone.
When Christian believers pray, they enter into His presence. Believers are allowed entrance directly into the throne room, covered in the blood of Christ that makes them unblemished and pure beings, washed clean from sin.
When I am tempted by something I see and want to own or taste, or want to hear said of myself, and that thing is not for God's glory alone, I will go into His presence and pray for that temptation to be removed from me. I will demand that Satan go behind me, in Jesus' name.
And my heart and flesh will "sing for joy to the living God". For I belong to God, and God alone.
Here is Psalm 84 set to gorgeous music by Johannes Brahms, from his "German Requiem".
"How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings Fair" by J. Brahms. The Westminster Abbey Choir