A love for God’s house, Pt1
Scripture: Psalm 84:1-2
Eleven Psalms bear titles that specifically reference the descendants of Korah. Cp Num 16:31-35. Yet some were spared from this wrath and continued to play a role in the work of God. The words of this Psalm must be seen from the perspective of those spared from the wrath of God, delivered from the rebellion of apostasy and false worship, to engage God in true worship and service.
It is such as this that can speak of a love for the house of God!
I A LOVE FOR THE HOUSE OF GOD AS THE HEADQUARTERS OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE.
This is perhaps a strange feature of God’s house to begin with as he makes an extended statement of his love for it.
- He views the house of God as the camp of the Lord of Hosts. The house of God and its institutions are vital to the spiritual combat that God has called His people to.
- An army on active campaign. It is a place where God is to be recognized as on a war footing! The tabernacles reference the tents of an army on the move. There is an active military flavour to the Psalm. The function of the house of God is at the heart of active spiritual warfare. It is often a battle to get there! To participate in its activities involves an ongoing fight with the flesh and sin. Cp 1Chron 28:18—the holiest of all and the ark of the covenant seen in connection with God’s chariot of war!
- He loves the house of God from this perspective. He speaks therefore as a soldier, keen for war and eager to be on manoeuvres. His desire is to be in the battle and engage in the battle God Himself wages. He loves this battle and the house that is at the heart of it.
II HE LOVES THE HOUSE OF GOD AS THE COURTS OF THE LORD.
- Courts > ‘to stockade, separate’. The idea is of a fenced off place that is the exclusive possession of God. There are plain lines of demarcation. Such lines as God has drawn between His cause and the world/His enemies, should be specially in view in His house. There ought to be no place on earth more clearly distinguished and fenced off as belonging to Him. There is a reminder here of the basic doctrine of separation.
- This concept of distinction and separation call forth his love. Rightly understood and embraced it is a doctrine that inspires the love of the Christian. Love plays an important role in our spiritual warfare.
III EXPRESSIONS OF DEEP LOVE.
- The terms he uses:
- Lovely > ‘to boil’. A special focus on the activity caused by boiling. Here is a heart burning and active with love for God’s house.
- Longeth > ‘to pine, grow pale’. This word suggests the effect of separation from God’s house. How he misses it and longs to return.
- Fainteth > ‘to come to an end, be finished’. It is as if he will collapse and perish if he cant get to the house of God.
- Crieth out > ‘a cry of delight and victory’. There is joy in this word and a sense of triumph. He goes to the house of God as one celebrating a great victory!
- These desires and feelings are rooted in both body and soul. Often the child of God is found in the sad place where they have no heart for God’s house. Then there are times when the spirit is willing but the flesh weak. Yet here is a believer whose heart is right and he has disciplined his flesh to the degree that both share in this desire. There is no greater spiritual or natural desire/appetite present in his being. This is a happy spiritual state indeed!