Summary: “The wings of God are broad wings covering up all our needs, our sorrows, our sufferings. There comes a time when we may feel forsaken, but the Lord never leaves us very long at a time. When we cry out ‘Lord, undertake for me’ His answer comes on swift
Scripture: Ps 84
Text PS 84:3 “Yea the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars O Lord of hosts.”
Some time ago, the Moody Monthly carried an article entitled, “Seven Days Behind the Iron Curtain”, in which the author described the heart hunger of the Russian people, both the young and old, for the things of God. Christians in Russian have learned by bitter experience that a day in the courts of the Lord is better than a thousand years of promised victory, pleasure, and security behind the Iron Curtain. Today, Russian Christianity meets under strict observation of the government authorities. Russian Christians are restricted in their propagation of the Gospel. They are unable to do door to door evangelism. They do not publish Gospel literature. They have no way of replacing their Bibles which are gradually wearing out. The Russian Christians have learned that it is a terrible thing to lose freedom of religion.
David, banished from Jerusalem, tells us in Psalm 84 how he longed to go back, not to regain his throne and kingly privileges, but his heart longed for a return to the house of God. How different he was from the thousands of nominal Christians who find it less desirable to frequent the Lord’s house. But David missed the Lord’s house so much, that as he hid in the wilderness he envied the little birds which had built their nests near the altars of God far more than he envied the privileges of the one who had stolen his throne. These birds found in the sanctuary what we may find in fellowship with God. First of all:
I. Dwelling Places for Themselves
That they should be satisfied to dwell in and around the temple is a wonderful ting in itself, for the temple was not a quiet place. It literally buzzed with activity. People were going and coming. The lowing of the cattle was heard. The sparrows didn’t mind. They felt secure. David meditated upon it with pleasure when he considered what kind of birds the sparrows were. In Jesus’ day 5 could be purchased for the fraction of a penny. They were unworthy creatures. Let a sparrow die, and who cared? Save God, who must have loved them since He had created so many of them. The priests in the temple could have gotten along without them. They were almost worthless, and undeserving, yet they were needy creatures. They needed something to eat and a place to stay. They had found a resting place on the altars of the Lord. The altar was a place of safety for the law would not allow them to be driven away, much less killed. There they found safety and peace.
Two artists were asked to paint a picture to illustrate peace. One painted a beautiful evening scene. In the foreground was a lake, its surface absolutely calm. Trees surrounded it and meadows stretched away to the distant horizon. A little cottage and the setting sun all suggested peace. The second artist drew a wild stormy scene. Heavy lack clouds hovered overhead. In the center of the picture a huge waterfall poured volumes of water. One could imagine its roar, yet almost the first thing to catch the eye was a small bird nesting in the cleft of a great rock, absolutely sheltered from the outside elements and pouring forth a song of joy. That, too, pictured perfect peace.
B. Perfect peace is what God would have us know, whatever our lot in live. Like the sparrows we are welcome in God’s presence, for Jesus has said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give youa rest. Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” We find in our Lord’s invitations, so much universality they are addressed to the whosoevers.
An elderly man once wanted to know what whosoever meant and he was told that it meant “Thy body that likes” In the picture of Christ knocking at the heart’s door, the invitation is addressed to all who hear and respond. According to Jesus, not even a sparrow could fall to the ground unnoticed by the creator. Jesus said, “Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” The Lord will make greater provision for you. He will keep you in perfect peace when your trust is placed in Him. As Isaiah wrote, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.”
This was Gladstone’s favorite text and the text was on a motto in his bedroom. They were the last words he saw before retiring, and the first words that he saw upon awakening. For 40 years this message was one of the sources of his strength. “God honors sincere faith with perfect peace. In God’s house the sparrows found safety, rest, delight, provision, nearness, not because they were worthy, but because they were welcome.”