Psalm 84 – The Lord in the House

Bible opened to Psalm 84 with Green and Black's Organic Mint Dark Chocolate on zebra plate

Today’s passage: Psalm 84

Today’s chocolateGreen & Black’s Organic Mint Dark Chocolate

If you ever attended a contemporary-style church worship service in the late 90s, some lines from this psalm will probably seem familiar to you. That’s because Matt Redman drew on it for inspiration in his 1995 song “Better Is One Day,” which was subsequently covered by Chris Tomlin, Kutless, and the ubiquitous Hillsong United. “How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God” (1-2). Sound familiar? Matt Redman’s song, much like this psalm that inspired it, is a worship song about wanting to go worship.

When the sons of Korah penned this psalm, “the courts of the Lord” most likely referred specifically to the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. God’s “dwelling place” was not just any old place, but a specific location in ancient Jerusalem! But I’m reminded of Jesus’ words several hundred years later to a woman of Samaria: “An hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father” (John 4:21). I can’t explain exactly what has happened, but my sense is that through his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has inaugurated a new era of worship, where God dwells in his people through the Holy Spirit and inhabits their praise wherever it occurs. The courts of the Lord are wherever God’s heaven meets our life on earth–and that’s no longer limited to the Temple.

The psalm concludes simply, “O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (12), and that’s as true today as it was over two thousand years ago. Have a good weekend, fam, and if you plan on singing any praise songs this weekend, may God bless your worship. See ya Monday.

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