Psa. 84 is very enlightening and encouraging as we try to deepen our study of the tabernacle in the Bible; in this psalm we see the yearning, desire, and love of the psalmist for the house of God, and at the same time we see God’s desire being fulfilled and Him blessing those who are one with Him for His building.
This psalm starts in a very sweet way with an exclamation of praise,
v. 1 How lovely are Your tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!
v. 2 My soul longs, indeed even faints, For the courts of Jehovah; My heart and my flesh cry out To the living God.
The psalmist was really a reflection of God’s heart, and his desire was for the tabernacles of God; even though the Old Testament speaks of only one tabernacle, the type of the “tabernacles of God” actually speaks of the many local churches (see Rev. 1), which are the portable embodiment of God, the place where God can be found, touched, and interacted with today on earth.
Our desire and yearning as believers in Christ should be for the tabernacles of God, for the courts of God, that is, for the local churches. We need to pray that the Lord would give us His heart for the church so that we may love the church, yearn for the church, and seek to build up the church by living Christ and ministering Him in all the local churches, the tabernacles of God.
May we be those whose heart and flesh cry out to the living God so that He may gain a built-up church and a proper shining testimony of the church in all the local churches all over the earth!
v. 3 At Your two altars even the sparrow has found a home; And the swallow, a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young, O Jehovah of hosts, my King and my God.
How sweet and intimate it is to admit that, as sparrows and swallows easily frightened by the weather and danger, we run and hide in the cross of Christ (the reality of the first altar, the altar of burnt offering) and we make our home in the Holy of Holies in our mingled spirit where the ascended Christ is (the reality of the golden altar of incense)!
Today many things may happen to us, and our environment may not be that pleasant, but no matter what, we can come to the cross of Christ, hide in the crucified One, and come forward to Him in our mingled spirit (the reality of the Holy of Holies) to enjoy Him, offer Him to God for His satisfaction, and eat Him as the hidden manna so that we may enter deeper into God!
Our spiritual journey is not just to reach God and “be with Him”; our spiritual journey, as seen by the types and figures in the book of Exodus, is for us to enter into God and for God to enter into us so that we and God would be incorporated as God in man and man in God, God being expressed through man (the tabernacle) and man making his home in God for eternity.
Therefore, we hide in the crucified One and we enjoy and offer the ascended One, and we learn to spend time in the mingled spirit to eat Christ and become intrinsically a part of God’s corporate expression on earth, the reality of the tabernacle.
v. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will yet be praising You.
Amen! Praise the Lord! As we dwell in the house of God, as we abide in the Lord and we meet with the saints, having a day-by-day and house-to-house church life of eating, drinking, and feasting on Jesus with the saints, we praise the Lord!
Our normal daily church life should be a life of praising the Lord, and as we dwell in God’s house we just enjoy God’s blessing! We may not even pray for God’s blessing, but His blessing is upon us because we praise the Lord, we dwell in His house in oneness, and therefore He pours out the blessing (Psa. 133)!
The Old Testament saints, God’s loving seekers, desired to be in the house of God and dwell in it, even though they were not necessarily priests; our desire today as believers in Christ should be to dwell in God’s house for the rest of our life, enjoying God, praising Him, and receiving His blessing!
Psa. 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As we dwell in God’s house, our strength and trust is in the Lord; we don’t trust in our ability or capacity to solve problems and difficult situations, but we look to the Lord for Him to lead us, guide us, and do everything for us, as we simply enjoy the Lord and open our home to meet with the saints.
Even though we are in the church life, we still desire to enter into the church life in a deeper way; in our heart as God’s loving seekers there are highways to Zion, our intentions to enter into the church as God’s dwelling place in a deeper way!
We love the church life, we love the Lord, and we love the saints, and at the same time we yearn that the Lord would go deeper in us, we would go further with Him, and the church would become more real to us so that we may reach Zion, the high peak, the place where God’s heart’s desire is fulfilled.
Amen, Lord, gain Zion in all the local churches! Gain the overcoming ones who see Your heart’s desire, have the highways to Zion in their heart, and are fully one with You for You to accomplish what You desire, the building up of Your dwelling place!
v. 6 Passing through the valley of Baca, They make it a spring; Indeed the early rain covers it with blessings.
On the one hand we have the highways to Zion in our heart, but on the other hand, Satan opposes us and causes us to suffer persecution; therefore, even though our intention is to come into the church life and enter into the church in a deeper way, we suffer trouble and persecution, and we weep.
Blessed are those who weep for the Lord’s interest, for the church, and for the saints; blessed are those who weep as a result of being persecuted for coming into the church life for Zion! The trouble and persecution caused by Satan can make our highway a valley of weeping (called Baca in the Old Testament), but God makes this valley a spring!
Yes, trouble and persecution are here, we weep, but as we weep, God turns our tears into a spring, and the more tears we have, the more this spring flows. This spring is the Spirit Himself (see Col. 1:24; Heb. 10:34; John 4:14; 7:38-39).
The Lord’s recovery today is full of the flow of the Spirit because many have passed through the valley of weeping, and all the tears have been turned into a spring, which is the Spirit! The more we weep on the highways to Zion, the more we receive the Spirit; while we are weeping, we are being filled with the Spirit, and the Spirit becomes our spring.
Our taking the way of the church touches our heart deeply, and persecution and trouble may cause us to weep; these tears are turned by the Lord into a spring, an early rain of blessing.
Those who come into the church life by passing through the valley of weeping find that this weeping eventually becomes a great blessing to them – this blessing is the Spirit! Yes, the tears they shed are their own, but these tears issue in a spring, which becomes the early rain, the Spirit as the blessing (Zech. 10:1; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:3).
Amen, Lord, thank You for bringing us into the church life and for putting the highways of Zion in our heart! Lord, our desire is to go deeper with You and to enter into the church in a deeper and more intrinsic way! Amen! May all our tears – shed as You touch our heart and as others persecute us – be remembered by You and become a spring, the flow of the Spirit! Amen, Lord, fill the church life with much of the Spirit as the blessing as we pass through the valley of weeping and You turn it into a great blessing! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah, the more we go on in the church life, the more strength we gain; we don’t go lower and lower nor do we grow weaker and weaker, but we go from strength to strength (Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18), even from glory to glory!
God doesn’t give us all the strength at once; we go from strength to strength, a little at a time. We are not that strong, but we have enough strength for today.
Daily we are being strengthened into our inner man so that we may allow Christ to make His home in our heart, and the result is that, in a normal way as we grow in life and are built up with the saints, we appear before God in Zion – we are being produced as God’s overcomers! Hallelujah!
We treasure the church as God’s habitation, His tabernacle, because it is here that we are in Zion; yes, we are on earth, but at the same time we are in the heavenly Zion (Heb. 12:22).
Psa. 84:8 O Jehovah God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob.
v. 9 Behold our shield, O God; And look upon the face of Your anointed.
Here the psalmist speaks concerning David, who is the anointed one from God; David is a type of Christ – Christ is the anointed One from God, and we can pray concerning Christ as the psalmist did, O God, look upon the face of Christ, Your anointed One, who is our Savior!
What a Christ we have! He is our sun – He is the source of light, He warms us up, and He causes us to grow in life under His light; He is our shield, He protects us and covers us from the enemy’s attacks, and we can hide under Him. Hallelujah for our Christ, the One anointed by God to be everything that we need!
If our service is intrinsically according to God’s will in the church life, each day will be worth many days in the eyes of God (Joel 2:25). If we spend even one day living for Christ and the church, it is worth thousands of days in God’s eyes.
May we redeem our days and time by living for Christ and the church to enjoy this incarnated Triune God! May we learn to redeem the time for the days are evil, filled with pernicious things to distract us from the enjoyment of Christ.
11 For Jehovah God is a sun and a shield; Jehovah gives grace and glory; He does not withhold anything good From those who walk uprightly.
12 O Jehovah of hosts, blessed is the man Who trusts in You.
Amen! The blessings of dwelling in the house of God are our enjoyment of the incarnated and consummated Triune God as our sun to supply us with life (John 1:4; 8:12), as our shield to protect us from God’s enemy (Eph. 6:11-17), as grace for our inward enjoyment (John 1:14, 17), and as glory for the outward manifestation of God in splendor (Rev. 21:11, 23).
In the house of God we enjoy the blessings of God, His grace, His protection, and His glory for God’s manifestation. May we be those who give ourselves to the Lord for the church to experience Him for the house of God so that He may have a dwelling place on earth that expresses Him in His glory!
Lord, we praise You for the church life, and we treasure the church life so much! Here in the church we can enjoy the cross of Christ, and here Christ is everything to us. Amen, Christ is all that we need as our enjoyment for the building up of the church! Lord, we want to take the highway to come to the church and dwell here so that we may enjoy our Christ, the real David, who is our sun, our shield, our grace, and our glory! Hallelujah for Christ and the church! Lord, keep us in the church life enjoying You and expressing You corporately!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James L. for this week, and Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 33 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 40 / msg. 4, The Three Tabernacles.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Better a day within Thy courts / Than days a thousand I would tell; / I’d rather at Thy threshold stand / Than in the wicked’s tents to dwell. / Thou art a sun, Thou art a shield, / Thou grace and glory wilt supply; / Thy presence and Thy very self / My need in fulness satisfy. (Hymns #851)
# Blessed is the man whose heart, to / Zion, is an open way; / He’s the one whose strength is in Thee; / He will praise Thee all the day. / In communion with the churches, / Trusting Thee, Thy praise he sings; / Passing through the weeping valley, / It becomes a place of springs. (Hymns #1258)
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