Tuesday, February 8, 2011

God's house

This Psalm was written by one of Korah's sons.  When I think of God's house, I think of the mansions Jesus talked about in Heaven.  I did a little research and it actually refers to the Tent of the Congregation David set up on Mount Zion.  When I think of it as Church, I can relate to it easily.  Although today we have the Holy Spirit within us and we are His tabernacles as well.  Perhaps there are three places to experience God's presence:  our hearts, the Church, and Heaven.  We won't miss out!  This is a beautiful Psalm with great imagery. 

Psalms 84
1 What a beautiful home, God of the Angel Armies!
I've always longed to live in a place like this,
2 Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!

There's an old casino along the Asbury Park boardwalk, at the Jersey Shore.  Although most of the buildings have been renovated, the Casino has not.  It's a large cement building with no glass in the windows.  The doves love to build nests in the window sills.  On a hot summer day, you can walk inside and feel the cool air.  The echo of doves cooing bounces through the room.  It's really quite amazing.
3 Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God of the Angel Armies! King! God!
4 How blessed they are to live and sing there!

Our journeys with Christ are always full of ups and downs.  There are many winding turns that we didn't expect.  Some really really bad days.  But there are also many fantastic days.  It seems like God knows just when we need to be refreshed.  His timing is perfect, and there's always some refreshment when we need it most.  It could be a Pastor's message, a passage of scripture, a miracle,  or a simple hug at just the right moment.  It's not an easy journey.  But we definitely don't want to miss the ending!
5 And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
6 They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
7 God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turnZion! God in full view!

8 God of the Angel Armies, listen:
O God of Jacob, open your ears — I'm praying! 
9 Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.

These verses are interesting.  I don't think of people in the Bible going on vacations, but I guess they would.  I remember our first cruise, a dream vacation.  The ship rocked a lot.  I thought, "I'm in a ship on the ocean.  I can't get out!"  Panic would begin to rise.  I had to remind myself not to go there.  I got sick with a sore throat.  When we got to shore, it was beautiful!  But even vacations don't always go as perfectly as we plan.  A day spent with the Lord having your soul refreshed and renewed is well worth it for sure.  It would be better to scrub floors in the House of God than be an honored guest in the palace of sin.  Sin leaves me angry and empty, God fills me with hope and joy.  I choose God.
10 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I'd rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
11 All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn't scrimp with his traveling companions.
12 It's smooth sailing all the way with God of the Angel Armies.