Psalms 84-85; 87
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. – Psalms 84:10 NLT
Let's be honest with one another. There are a lot of places most of us would rather be on a Sunday morning than church. Like back in bed, at the park, on a golf course, or sitting on the back porch with a cup of coffee and a good book. Not that any of those things are wrong, but why is it that they seem more attractive to us than spending time with God and His people? In the morning, reading the paper can be more appealing to us than reading His Word. Perusing the morning paper can take the place of our morning prayer time. Watching the Cowboys play on Sunday afternoon can keep us from showing up at church on Sunday night. It is not that we lack passion, it is just that it just doesn't happen to be for the things of God. But take a look at the words of the Psalmist: "A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked" (Psalms 84:10 NLT). I love the way The Message paraphrases it. "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." The Psalmist loved God's house. Why? Because that is where the presence of God dwelt. It was where he could go to find God. Which is why he said, "I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God" (Psalms 84:2 NLT). Do you and I have that same kind of passion and desire for God? Do we long to be in His presence? Do we view our time in the Word as an opportunity to sit with Him and hear from Him? If we don't, that may be why our "quiet" times are just that – painfully and eerily quiet. We don't feel His presence. We don't hear His voice. When we go to church, we spend more time talking to our friends than we do listening to God. It is a social hour, not a worship experience.
The Psalmist was focused on God as his source of grace and glory. He described God as his sun and shield. He believed that God would withhold no good thing and would give joy to those who trusted in Him. He was a source of blessing and abundance. He was the restorer and redeemer. He provided salvation and was a source of unfailing love. Righteousness and truth could be found in His presence. So to be where God was was the Psalmist's greatest desire. What about you? What about me? Do we long to be with God? Do we find ourselves compelled to be in His Word so that we can hear from Him? Do we get excited to join God's people in worship of Him on Sunday? Or do we go out of some sense of duty rather than delight? A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! Really?
Father, I confess that I do not delight in You like I should. I find pleasure and fulfillment in so many other places. I seek comfort elsewhere. I search for wisdom elsewhere. I do not wake up thinking about You. I don't find myself passionate about You and desiring to spend time with You. I am distracted too much of the time. May I lose my love affair with this world and find You as my soul delight. May I become fixated on You. May the things of You bring me greater delight than anything else this world has to offer. Amen