(As published in Clarion)
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!—Psalm 84:1
Do you think of the dwelling place of God as being lovely? The Sons of Korah, the authors and first singers of this Psalm, thought it was. Their souls longed, even fainted, to be at the dwelling place, the courts of the LORD.
They noticed that the little birds—the sparrow and the swallow—loved to be there too.
In the ancient world birds were not chased out of temples. Birds were allowed to stay, to build nests, lay eggs, and raise their chicks. And to sing!
The singing birds were allowed to be in the temple, near God. The writer of this Psalm knew there was no better place to be.
Can you say that you want to be there where the Lord is?
In Luke 10 we read about Martha and Mary, the two sisters of Bethany. Once when Jesus was visiting them Martha was distracted with meal preparations and serving while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet soaking up his teaching. Martha was annoyed. She thought Mary was the one distracted and ought to focus and help her with the meal preparations. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Only one thing is necessary: to be at Jesus’ feet. That’s the New Testament application of Psalm 84. Longing for the courts of the LORD today is sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to his teaching. Everything might be taken away from you but if you are sitting at Jesus’ feet you have everything you need.
There are some who think they do not need to be in the courts of the LORD. They don’t need to be at Jesus’ feet. Why? Because they need a new heart. They need to be born again. It is a heart problem. The human heart is, by nature, desperately corrupt. By nature the human heart is a heart of stone. We need a heart transplant.
If you are going to have a heart transplant, you need a donor. Is there a donor available? Yes! Jesus! Jesus will give you a new heart. If you believe in Jesus, if you give yourself to him, if you seek him out and sit at his feet, you will be born again and you will get a new heart. And then you will hunger and thirst for the courts of the Lord.
Jesus is the great donor and the great physician. Without him you have nothing, but with him you have everything you need.
Whenever we sing this song I am reminded of my little niece, Ruth. She was severely disabled by several crippling conditions, but Ruth loved to sing about her love for her Lord Jesus. The Lord took her home the night after a school concert at Credo Christian Elementary School in Langley, BC. There she was in the front row, like a little birdie, faintly singing about her love for her Lord. That night the angels carried her soul to her heavenly home, to be with her Lord Jesus ever to sing his praises.
You are sitting at his feet, are you not? Soaking up the good news of salvation through his sacrifice on the cross? There is no place like at the feet of Jesus, listening to him, singing his praises.