(As published in Clarion)
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.—Psalm 84:10
Psalm 84 is a Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Dr. John Smith, speaking on this Psalm some years ago at a CRTS graduation evening, reminded us of the story of Korah.*
The story of Korah is told in Numbers 16. Korah, together with Dathan and Abiram, rebelled against Moses and Aaron when Israel was in the wilderness. Korah belonged to the tribe of Levi. It was the task of the Levites to take care of the tabernacle.
Each levitical clan had a task to perform: chopping wood, drawing water, opening and closing doors, etc. The clan of Aaron were the priests, who brought the sacrifices and burned the incense.
At some point Korah objected to this. He said to Moses that it was not fair that only some of the Levites got to be priests. He wanted to be a priest too.
Moses asked him if it was not enough that God had put him and other Levites in charge of the tabernacle. By wanting to fulfil a task that God had given to someone else he was rebelling against God. As punishment the LORD made the earth open up beneath Korah, the other rebels, and their families, and they were swallowed up alive.
So very interestingly Numbers 26:11 says, “The line of Korah, however, did not die out.” The Lord, in his grace and kindness, had not brought a complete end to Korah's family line. Some of his children survived their father's rebellion and continued to serve the LORD at the tabernacle.
Also interestingly, much later King David made the sons of Korah doorkeepers (1 Chron. 26). The doorkeepers were responsible for opening the doors of the tabernacle, later the temple, and of making sure that only those who were qualified would enter the holy place.
We see some wonderful irony here: Korah had said, “Let me in!” He had tried to push his way through to do the task God had given to others. Now the sons of Korah were given the task of making sure that no one tried to do what their father had done.
These sons of Korah said, “Better to be a doorkeeper in the in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Can you say that—that it is better to be the most humble servant of God's household than to live the life of the rebel?
You know, sometimes the tents of sin seem more appealing than the courts of the Lord. Sometimes it seems that non-Christians have all the fun while the Christian life is boring.
Don’t be fooled by that. It is a broad path—to destruction. Everything you see around you is going to disappear. The form of this world is passing away. The tents of wickedness and sin are going to shrivel up and disappear. We, however, will live forever, either in heaven or in hell.
And whether heaven or hell is our final and everlasting destiny depends upon whether or not we love Jesus. Better to be on the path to Zion than the highway to hell.
Ensure that you believe in the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you may know that the Lord will withhold no good thing from you. May the sunshine of God’s radiant face shine upon you. May Jesus be your shield to protect you. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
Points to ponder:
· According to Mark 13:34, what must the doorkeeper be?
· What task has the Lord given you to perform in the congregation?
*“A Doorkeeper in the House of My God ,” vol. 61, no. 23 (2012), p. 572ff.