Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The joy of God’s house

Last night my wife and I read Psalm 84.  The heading in the ESV Study Bible that we read from says, “My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord,” and it is a psalm proclaims the joy that is anticipated as the psalmist approaches God’s designated place of worship. 

The notes in our study Bible include these comments about the psalm:

“[It is] very much like the hymns in praise of Zion as God's special place (e.g. Psalm 122), although this one focuses especially on the delight of going to worship there.  The purpose of singing this psalm is to cultivate that delight, to open the eyes and hearts of God's people to the staggering privilege of being a welcome guest in God's own house, and to write deep into their souls the conviction that wickedness offers no reward that can even remotely compare to the joy and pleasure of God's house." (p.1043)

Those comments nearly take my breath away as they point out the joy and delight, the deep senses of peace and of pleasure, which we can know as God’s guests in the place where He gathers us as a people for worship.  Frankly, that isn’t always the orientation of my mind and heart when I “go to church.”  

These words remind me that worshipping among God’s people isn’t about me or the baggage I’m bringing along as I enter church.  It is about the Lord God Almighty, who has invited me to lay my baggage down, enjoy His presence, feast on His word, and to forget that my baggage ever existed as I walk back out into His world.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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