Meditations for Troubled Times
A Doorkeeper in the House of God
Thoughts Concerning Psalm 84
Now that we have been away from Lord's Day worship together for three weeks, Psalm 84:1-4 likely captures the sentiment on the hearts of many of us:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself;
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
The authors of this Psalm (and 11 others: Psalms 42 to 49, 85, 87-88) were the Sons of Korah, men who regarded worship as did King David: glad when they said "let us go to the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:1). The Sons of Korah understood, as did David, that weekly worship is the "bridge" between commandments one through three (loving God with all our hearts, turning from all idols, and never taking the Lord's name in vain), and commandments five to 10 (honoring parents, turning from murder or hatred toward another, adultery or lusting after another, stealing, bearing false witness, and coveting). That is, Lord's Day worship is an empowering practice that energizes faith, equips obedience, and exalts the King of Kings. Lord's Day worship moves us to comprehend correctly the first table of the law and motivates us to obey the second table of the law.
Further, Lord's Day worship is the right response to the work of conversion that the Father began in each of us as believers. We are redeemed and saved by His power, worked in each of us by unmerited grace. Gratefulness naturally fuels and drives us to worship and praise.
And further still, we are blessed not simply because we have union with Father, Son, and Spirit, but also because we have one another. We are the body of Christ, and "the body does not consist of one member, but of many," and "God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose" (1 Corinthians 12:14, 18). The church assembles on the Lord's Day so that we may express love and devotion to our Lord, and so that we may experience love and devotion for, and from, one another (1 John 4:11).
Interestingly, the Sons of Korah are physical descendants of Korah, the rebellious Levite who, with Dathan and Abiram, rebelled against the leadership of Moses and Aaron not long after the 12 spies returned from Canaan (Numbers 16:1-35). As a result of this rebellion, the rebels and 250 others died for their disobedience.
But God preserved and protected the Korahite line, and, beginning with men like the prophet Samuel and then later with the Sons of Korah, He faithfully raised up transformed servants whose greatest joy was to be in the Lord’s house, even if it were simply as doorkeepers. These were men whose hearts knew that "a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10).
Is this our heart as we wait for the next Lord’s Day when we meet with the Lord and with one another?