Summary: Do you have a heart that longs for God? Do you want to see Him, to be with Him, to enjoy Him forever? The psalmist expresses this blessing in 3 beatitudes.
A Deep Longing for God
1. We rejoiced to hear that the trapped Chilean miners were rescued this past week. An AP article summarizes matters:
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile – The miners who spent 69 agonizing days deep under the Chilean earth were hoisted one by one to freedom Wednesday, their rescue moving with remarkable speed while their countrymen erupted in cheers and the world watched transfixed.
2. It took many people, working together, to make the rescue a reality. Family members longed to have their loved ones back, and trapped miners dreamt of when they could be reunited with their families and friends.
3. Sometimes we do not appreciate others as we should, and then it is too late. These people received a second chance.
4. But many of us have a hard time appreciating God as we should. I think it is fair to say that we all fail in this area, though in varying degrees. Does that bother you? It should.
5. It is being disturbed about our lack of appreciation of God that drives us to correct it, to have hearts aflame for Him. And Psalm 84 is a good rubric against which we can measure ourselves.
Main Idea: Do you have a heart that longs for God? Do you want to see Him, to be with Him, to enjoy Him forever? The psalmist expresses this blessing in 3 beatitudes.
I. Blessed Are Those Who DWELL in God’s House (1-4)
A. Longing for God’s House is Longing for GOD (1-2)
• He is not just attached to a place like a home or church building or school
• He is not out to appease God, but to please God
B. He ENVIES the birds who live there (3)
• Even a simple creature like is bird is more blessed being close to God than a man far away. That’s the idea, I think.
• Is a church building the "house of the Lord?" No. But when believers gather to exalt God, anywhere is a house of the Lord, in a sense.
C. To be BLESSED is to dwell in His Temple (4)
D. New Testament recognition: God’s PRESENCE
1. In both testaments, the idea of God’s presence is being face to face with Him; in OT, God’s presence, Shekinah, dwelt above the Mercy Seat in the Temple
2. Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, ’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’" Finding Jesus in loving others is often not our way. I Corinthians 3:16-17, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple." We carry the temple and God’s presence with us. 2 Timothy 4:17, "But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth."
3. Whenever we study the Word, we "enter the Kingdom." When we pray we enter God’s presence (Hebrews 4:16). When we worship Him in praise we enter His throne room.
4. Jews have a prayer shawl that makes for a prayer "closet." You are God’s Temple; when you gather for a morning service, have devotions, pray before a meal, sing to God, obey, you then "dwell" in God’s House. How frequently do you do this? Do you love to do them, or find them a dead ritual?
Do you have a heart that longs for God? Do you want to see Him, to be with Him, to enjoy Him forever?
II. Blessed Are Those Who Find Their STRENGTH In God (5-9)
A. ANTICIPATION of meeting God via pilgrimage (5-6)
Life can be grueling; even a pilgrimage can. Imagine walking 150 miles.
1. They dig water in the dry places
2. Sometimes God sends rain
3. From strength to strength suggests God’s provision
• Much of the Christian life is spent in the valleys
• If we try to take shortcuts out of the valley, we often suffer. Ancient story about a woman w/2 slaves. Rooster crowed…they had to start working; strangled rooster. Woman woke up earlier & made them arise earlier (Aesop)
4. Truly serving God requires sacrifice on our part!
• They "set their hearts." Again, I want to emphasize the difference between singing and worship, listening and praying. And that difference is the heart.
• In the evangelical world, worship has deteriorated into disguised narcissism: self-admiration and selfishness – "what floats my boat." In contrast, God is the true focus of the Psalmist.