THERE’S SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PLACE
Psalm 84:1-4 (NKJV)
The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God
To the Chief Musician.
On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah
Psalm 84:10 (NKJV)
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
This is a Psalm of the Tabernacle. It is thought that this Psalm was written by King David while he was an exile from Jerusalem during the rebellion of his son Absalom. If that is the case, it reveals much about the heart of David. He was a man who loved the House of the Lord!
To David, there was no place on this earth so special as that one place where the Lord had chosen to place His Name and demonstrate His presence. For David, the Tabernacle was the place he desired to be.
Now, I know that the true House of God is Heaven and that His true Tabernacle now is the heart of the believer. However, the visible symbol of both these things is the church. When the saints of God gather themselves together to worship the Lord in Spirit and truth, there is nothing on this earth that is any closer to Heaven than that! This place in which we gather is a place dedicated to the worship and glory of God. The things that made the Tabernacle special to David ought to be the same things that make the church special to us this evening.
Allow me to share 4 truths with you from this Psalm that remind us that There’s Just Something Special About This Place.
I. V. 1 IT INSPIRES A SENSE OF DELIGHT
A. David describes the House of God as being Amiable. This word means, “Worthy to be loved.”
B. God’s people ought to love the church!
C. There are two good ways to show your love for the church.
1. Be Present – Heb. 10:25
2. Be Pleasant – Psa. 122:1
D. The reasons why I love the church are many. But, to name a few, I find hope, help, encouragement, fellowship, friendship, companionship, understanding, and worship. I find the things I need for my journey down here at the House of God! I am grateful for the desire the Lord placed in my heart to be in His House when the doors are opened! I love the church this evening! (III. How about you? Do you love the church tonight?)
II. V. 2, 10a IT INSPIRES A SENSE OF DESIRE
A. David tells us that his entire being longed to be at the House of God! His soul, his body and his heart longed to be in the place of worship!
B. Perhaps David remembered what many saints of God have forgotten. Perhaps he remembered that the house of the Lord is an oasis in the desert of this world. Perhaps he remembered that the House of the Lord is a safe haven from the storms of life. Whatever thoughts occupied his mind, when the thought of the House of God, his pulse quickened, his eyes brightened and he longed to be there more than anything else in his life.
All through David’s life, he exhibited this desire to be in the House of the Lord. Psa. 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” 1 Chron. 29:3, “Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God,” The whole idea from David’s experience is that he was a man who loved the House of the Lord and longed for it when he couldn’t be there!
C. Far too many in our days see the church as something they can either take or leave. However, we need to understand this evening that, “The desires of the heart reveal the condition of the soul!” What you long for in life reveals what you love and what you love reveals who’s you are!
D. There is a very good reason why the children of God should long for the Father’s House. You see, it is a place to meet God – v. 2b – I realize that the Lord is always with His children, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. I also realize that God dwells in His children, Col. 1:27; 1 Cor. 6:19; John 14:18. However, I also know that He has promised to meet with His people when they gather together to worship Him, Matt. 18:20.
III. I don’t want to be like Thomas. He was absent when the Lord showed up and he missed a blessing – John 20:19-24. I don’t want to miss a thing the Lord has for me! That is why I want to be in His House each time the doors are open! Note: The Bible points out the fact that Thomas was missing! Just between us, I think He notices it when we are missing too!
III. V. 3-4 IT INSPIRES A SENSE OF DEVOTION
(III. As David thought about the Lord’s House and about how far away from it he was, he began to reflect on the little birds that made their homes in the precincts of the Tabernacle. I think I can detect a twinge of Jealousy in the voice of old David as he wishes that he too might be able to go to the Tabernacle and just abide there forever. As he thinks of these birds, he mentions 2, the sparrow and the swallow. If these birds were to be labeled, we could label the sparrow as the worthless bird and the swallow as the wandering bird. However, David tells us that both the worthless sparrow and the wandering swallow found exactly what they needed at the House of God. Note the lessons that we can learn from these verses that teach us the truth that the House of the Lord is a place we can live.)
A. V. 3a It Is A Place For The Unwanted- Ill. The sparrow – Matt. 10:29. (In the House of the Lord, anyone can find acceptance – John 6:37; Rev. 22:17) The sparrow was worthless and unwanted. They arrived in great numbers as uninvited guests. They came needy, looking for a place of shelter and for food. (Ill. They found what they came after too!) What a picture these little birds are of the sinner! However, there are contrasts as well. The sinner is invited to come to the Lord, Matt. 11:28. Though there are many, there is room for all, Rom. 10:13. Though all are in need of shelter and of food, there is plenty of provision in the Lord for all! This place is truly a place for the unwanted!
B. V. 3a It Is A Place Of A Permanent Dwelling- This verse says that the sparrow has found a house. It has found a permanent place of residence! Thank God, the church is a place where we can set down our roots and dwell, 1 Cor. 15:58. The idea of a House brings to mind the image of a comfortable, safe, and suitable dwelling. That’s what I have found in the church! I have found my crowd. I have found my place. I have found my people!
C. v. 3b It Is A Place For The Pilgrim– While the sparrow is more of a permanent resident, the swallow is a pilgrim. He flies away in the fall and returns in the spring. He is a wanderer! Yet, at the Tabernacle, the pilgrim swallow found a place of safety and shelter in the midst of his journeys.
(III. The pilgrim saints have found the church to be the same for them! The House of God is a place of safety and shelter in a cruel world. It is a place where the cares of life can be laid aside and rest can be found – Heb. 11:17. Note the word “nest”. This gives the idea of something temporary! What a blessing! The church is a great gift from the Lord, but we will not need it forever! One day, the journey of life will end and we will go to that eternal home in the heavens! Amen!)
D. v. 3c It Is A Place For The Young– The Bible tells us that the swallow had found a place to raise her little ones. What a lesson for us! The church is the place to raise children! Here, they can hear about Jesus and the plan of Salvation. It is in the House of God that they learn how to worship and praise the name of the Lord. In the church, they are raised in the midst of the choicest society known to man. The company of the redeemed is a good place for children to be brought up. In fact, when they are raised in the right atmosphere at church and with the right example at home, they will usually find their way back to the nest, Pro. 6:22.
(III. This ought to cause us to want to have the right kind of church! Our churches ought to be a place where the Word of God is honored, the will of God is sought and practiced, the power of God is on display, the praises of God are heard, prayer is offered to God, and where no man, no program and no denomination ever takes the place of the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!)
E. V. 3c It Is A Place For The Weary– The word “nest” implies a place of rest. I think the church is a place of rest. It is a place where we can come and lay down the burdens and cares of life and find peace to worship the Lord God. I am glad the Lord has provided His people a haven of rest in the church! (III. Not all the birds that fill the heavens could have dwelt at the Tabernacle! Think about some:
1. The Eagle – He is too ambitious.
2. The Vulture – He is too foul.
3. The Hawk – He is too war-like.
4. The Barnyard Fowl – They are too dependent on man.
5. The Owl – He is too fond of darkness.
6. The Mockingbird – He is too filled with himself.
However, the sparrow and the swallow are lowly and little. They are not filled with self, but are keenly aware of their needs. They simply appropriated by faith that which the Lord had provided at the Tabernacle! So it is with the redeemed people of the Lord! All we did was appropriate by faith the provisions of the Lord in our Savior Jesus Christ. We saw Him as our shelter and we moved right in, Eph. 2:8-9. Therefore, we have found a place of perfect peace and rest in the Tabernacle of the soul: Jesus!)
IV. V. 10b IT INSPIRES A SENSE OF DUTY
(III. In this verse, David tells us that he would rather serve in the Tabernacle as the man who opened the door than he had to waste his time and energy serving the world and the devil. What a lesson for the child of God!)
A. Friends, the church is a place where we can exercise our gifts in the Lord.
B. There is a job for every believer! He saved us to serve Him in love – Eph. 2:10; James 2:18.
C. You see, when the Lord saved your soul, He gave you certain spiritual gifts, 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Rom. 12:4-8. The fact is, the Lord has given you gifts that I do not possess. For the church to be as effective at it should be, every member must determine what their gifts are and they should use them for the glory of the Lord. This is a place where you can serve if you want to!)
(Ill. There aren’t many who are looking for a place of service in the House of God. Most in our day are looking for a free ride. They want to be part of the church, but they do not want to have a part in the church. Let me encourage you to get active in the work of the church. Let the Lord use your life here for His glory. If you are saved, you have been gifted for service. Please do not waste your life. Make it count for God’s glory! Honor Him and lay up treasures in Heaven, Matt. 6:19-20.)
These are just some of the things that make the House of God a special place. I wonder if the Lord has spoken to your heart about your relationship to the church. If the church doesn’t hold the elevated place in your heart that it deserves, I beg you to come before the Lord, tell Him your heart and let Him change your life and your relationship to His church.
Praise the Lord!