Summary: A sermon about making it through the valley of tears, to the house of God
I. Notice The Tabernacle.
a. See His Devotion To It.
"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts !"
The word "amiable" means "loved". It is only translated "amiable" on this one time. Elsewhere it is translated "loves" and "beloved".
The tabernacle of the Lord was loved by the writer. It was "beloved". When he thought of the house of God, his heart was filled with afffection, and adoration. This love, this devotion that he had for this place was due to the presence of God that he experienced there.
The first sermon that I ever preached was at "Philadelphia Baptist Church" in Newnan. The church was started in a little bldg which once housed a grocery store. The bldg was rented, and walls removed so that there would be space for folding chairs for people to sit in. It didn’t look like a church.......it was not a spectacular bldg......it had no steeple, but how wonderful it was to worship in that place. When I go, and visit my mom, I pass by that bldg, and think of the fond memories of that place, and of the presence, and power of God that flowed.
This bldg that we meet in is nothing more than a bldg without the presence of God. This place is special because it is he house of the Lord, and because he is present among us !
How do you see the church ? What kind of devotion do you have in your heart towards this place ? Do you love it because it is the house of God, and because he is present here ?
b. See His Desire For It V2
"My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."
Notice the strong language which he uses to describe his desire to be in the house of God, to enjoy his presence ! "My soul longeth" (to pine after, sore, to be greedy) he writes.........Think of this........It is a paradox........God has the ability to both satisfy us, and make us hunger for more ! The longing that the writer describes is a longing that can be satisfied only by the Lord !
"Yea even fainteth"(finished, wasted, determined) The desire to be in the house of the Lord, and sense his presence is so strong that he feels like he is wasting away, and yet he is determined to enter the courts of the LORD. "and my flesh cried out for the living God." The word "cried out" is translated elsewhere as "shout" and almost always means a "shout of joy". This intense longing that he was experiencing as he recalled the beauty of the tabernacle, and God’s presence made him shout with joy !
Do you long for the Lord’s presence ? Do you have a desire to being in God’s house, and worship ?
c. See His Description Of It. V3
The house of the Lord is a place where all should be received, and all should find rest.
The description that the writer gives is beautiful. He uses two birds to teach us about the house of God, and the presence of the Lord, and the rest that can be found in his presence.
The sparrow is a common bird. Christ spoke of it in Matt 10:29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Though the sparrow be perceived of having little value, the Father knows when it falls from the sky.
Though you may look at yourself, and feel worthless, and though we may see worthliness among some, they are all welcome in God’s presence, and in his place.
The swallow is a restless bird. It is constantly moving, not staying in one place for very long. Yet the writer says that even the swallow builds its nest in the altars at the house of the Lord.
Those who are always restless, and wandering find a resting place in the presence of God, and in his place !
They are all welcome. We are all welcome in the presence of God !
Notice the title that the writer uses in his approach to the Lord. "O LORD of hosts speaks to the fact that he is "LORD of the multitudes" He wants to be LORD in everyone’s life........yet he must become my King, and my God !
Wouldn’t it be nice to be everyone’s friend ? To be able to help everyone ? To meet the need’s of everyone ? I can’t do that, and neither can you, but he, The LORD of hosts can !
Can you say tonight that he is my King, and my God ?