Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lesson 9 - Do you faint for the Lord?

I love reading the Psalms. David pours out his heart to God. For this lesson we are going to look at Psalm 84. Read the whole Psalm and listen to David's heart cry. This psalm was originally written to celebrate God's presence in Jerusalem, where the temple was being built. Today we don't have to go to the temple to be in God's presence, but when this was written that was the case. The Psalm is divided into 6 sections:

1. The expression of the desire to be home, v. 1, 2.
I love verse 2, my soul longs, yes faints for the courts of the Lord. David with all his being wanted to be in the presence of the Lord. Do we long and cry out for all our being to be in God's presence. We truly take that for granted. Now, that we have the Holy Spirit, God is always with us. We need to delight, desire, and long to be with God. David desperately needed God. We do as well.

2. The blessings of being at home in Zion, v. 3,4
Do you think if the sparrow and swallow can find a nest at the altar of God, how much
more important we are? God provides for all our needs. I think of in the New Testament if God can take care of the birds and flowers, he can certainly take care of me.

3. The blessings of those who make pilgrimages to Zion, v. 5-7
People would walk long distances to the temple. In the beginning they would start out
with great joy. The Valley of Baca is often translated as the Valley of Weeping. So,during their pilgrimage their could be difficulties and then God would provide strength. Isn't that like our Christian walk, we start out with such hope and joy then trouble hits and we become sad. God is with us on the pilgrimage and he can provide strength for our darkest times.

4. A prayer for God's attention to Zion, v. 8,9
When v. 8 talks about God of hosts, that literally means God of armies. God has angelic armies and he controls all of earth. God is our shield and protector. If we could really see the battle that goes on between God's angels and the demonic forces I don't know if we would feel safe or threatened. Yet, there are battles going on and I'm glad God is on my side.

5. The joy of being home in Zion, v. 10,11
I love v. 10. David, a king, who had everything said he would rather be a doorkeeper
in God's house than live in wickedness. Can we be so excited about being in God's presence that even the most menial task is worship? We are in God's presence and we worship him when we do the billionth load of laundry, when we change stinky diapers, when we listen to hormonal teenagers, when our boss is angry, and the list can go on. Everything we do can be an act of worship.
v. 11 says No good does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Chew on that verse for awhile.

6. The blessing of trusting in God, v. 12
Trusting in the Lord provides blessings. You can never go wrong when you trust

What did you think of this Psalm? Was it convicting, inspiring? I do want to long and thirst for God. When we thirst for him we won't long for the world's fake water. Being in his presence every moment of every day is a precious gift we had that David did not. Let's not take it for granted. (I talking to myself as well).

Please share your thoughts and other comments.