Psalm 84:1-12, “<<To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.>> How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”
As the Psalm writer wrote regarding the tabernacles of the LORD, he expressed his great love, admiration, and devotion to the sacred place where the presence of God resided. It was the LORD that caused the writer to have the love he did for the tabernacles of the LORD and his love for the God was the very thing that fuelled his love for God’s house.
In this Psalm, written to be sung by the sons of Korah, the penmen spoke of the amiableness of God’s tabernacles that caused his entire being to desire them and the God that dwelt there. He said that his “soul longeth, yea even fainteth,” for God’s courts and his “heart and…his flesh crieth out for the living God.” In other words, he saw the LORD’s house as worthy of love and his soul earnestly desired, even failed in strength, that he might be there. His heart and his flesh had an insatiable desire for God. He was completely consumed with the desire to be near His God!
In verse three he speaks of the good fortune of the birds to have a place in the house of God. As he speaks of the sparrows, we can apply this to the lowly. The sparrow has little value in the eyes of man, even though God’s eye is upon them (Matthew 10:29). When he speaks of the swallow, we can apply this to the wild. The swallow is known for its swiftness, extended periods of flight, and love for freedom of flight. Yet, there is the swallow, making its nest under the altars of God.
Those who dwell in the house of the LORD are blessed, (vs. 4)! Those who find their strength in the LORD are blessed, (vs. 5)! Those who trust in the LORD are blessed, (vs. 12)!
Coming back to the main topic of the Psalm, the writer said “a day in [the LORD’s] courts is better than a thousand” days. Again, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” One might say, “Who would want to dwell in the tents of wickedness?” We must remember that at times the tents of wickedness can be financially prosperous tents. They can be prestigious tents. The tents of wickedness can be alluring to the flesh, especially if one is discontented with the place they are dwelling or does not see the value of the place they reside.
Therein lays the great truth of this Psalm. The title of the Psalm tells us that it was written for the sons of Korah. The Korahites “were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the LORD, were keepers of the entry.” (1 Chronicles 9:19). They were doorkeepers in the house of God! The Psalm is written to those who may look at their position as “simple” doorkeepers in the house of God as a menial, insignificant place of service. It was intended to help them see and sing about the great privilege they had to be dwellers in the courts of the LORD. They were blessed, indeed!
In whatever place the LORD has set us in His service, it is always good to remember that it is a privileged, blessed place. In our humanity, and with discontented eyes, we can often view our place as menial or insignificant. Many a Christian has looked to another place of service, another position, a different title, or another role as something better than their current position, title, role, or service. It is not! The place where God has placed us is the most blessed place we can be! He has specifically designed us for the very purpose and has designed the purpose for the person.
May we all sing as the sons of Korah, “Lord, a day in the place you have placed me is better than a thousand days in another place. I would rather be in the place of service you have given me, than to be in a wicked place of prestige and human prosperity.”