“GOD’S DWELLING PLACE” (Psalm 84)
FBC Earlville 11-27–16 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor
TODAY’S FUNNY In light of last week’s riddles, here are some post-Thanksgiving thoughts:
#1 Asked to write a composition entitled, “What I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving,” little Johnny wrote, “I’m thankful that I’m
not a turkey.”
#2 Which side of the turkey has the most feathers? (the outside!)
#3 What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children?
If your father could see you now, he’d turn over in his gravy!
INTRODUCTION: Perhaps in your lifetime you’ve lived in many different homes. Perhaps you’re fortunate to have lived in one home for many years. And perhaps there is one home which was your favorite – perhaps even your current home – one which you love to go back to. Now imagine that home is the tabernacle outside Jerusalem. Or better yet, it is the home where God dwells. Same place? Maybe, maybe not. Where do you think God Himself dwells today? PRAYER
# 1 WHO DWELLS THERE
In examining a psalm for the first time, what often strikes me are words that are repeated. In this psalm, there are several – including names for God!
I encourage you to become familiar with the “Names of God” Bible. It is one of the choices on Biblegateway.com. It lets the reader see what the Hebrew name for God is in any given OT text. Here is the list of names or descriptions of God in Psalm 84, and note the “Names of God” understanding for verse 1 V. 1: “Lord Almighty” [NOG: “Yahweh Tsebaoth”= Jehovah of Hosts]. V. 2: “God” V. 3: “Lord Almighty”, “King”, “my God” V. 7: “God” V. 8: “Lord”, “God”, “Almighty”, “God of Jacob V. 9: “God” V. 10: “God” V. 11: “Lord”, “God”, “Lord” V. 12: “Lord”, “Almighty”
* The key word in this whole psalm is found in v. 3: “MY King and MY God”. The sons of Korah’s God was VERY personal! And they wanted to be in “God’s Dwelling Place”!
# 2 QUICK DESCRIPTION:
a. “Your dwelling place” (v. 1 – this is God’s favorite place); it is “lovely” (v. 1); “blessed” (v. 4) – people are blessed there! They are HAPPY (NT – Sermon on the Mount!). But note (v. 10): there is a choice – it is possible to “dwell” (same word!) in the tents of the wicked. Note its location (v. 7): in Zion (Jerusalem).
b. In NT theology: its location is the place of the heart! “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor. 3:16). “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, “ (2 Cor. 5:1-2) “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…” (Col. 3:16a). And in eternity future: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3).
c. WE are God’s dwelling place, His “happy place”, just as HE is OUR dwelling place!
# 3 WHAT GOD’S DWELLING PLACE TELLS ABOUT HIS PEOPLE:
a. They yearn, faint for His courts, they cry out for Him (v. 2)
b. They praise Him (vs. 3-4)
c. They are on pilgrimage – a life-long journey to God and with God (vs. 5-7)
d. They have regular communion in prayer with Him (vs. 8-9)
e. They hunger just to be there (v. 10)
ILLUSTRATION: Thuvia’s cousin, as part of her being a season ticket holder of the Cleveland Indians, was able to get tickets to ALL 7 games of the World Series! And she was at each game! And she couldn’t stop talking about being at each game – even when the last game went into extra innings. The game was the place to be! And so is God’s presence.
f. It encourages a holy walk (v. 11)
g. It gives an invitation to trust – which invitation is readily, and daily, accepted (v. 12)
CONCLUSION: Note v. 9. “Your anointed one” was a description very personal to the sons of Korah – for it first told of God’s oil being poured out on them as God’s choice servants.
Illustration: 30 years ago this week I was anointed by a group of godly men by the laying on of their hands on me, ordaining me to the gospel ministry. Similarly, the prophet Samuel poured oil on the shepherd boy, David, thus anointing him to be Israel’s next king. And the Messiah is the “anointed” One. But in the context, the author is talking about an individual, a human being, a servant of the Lord. And Paul does the same thing in 2 Cor. 1:21-22, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
You see – today, “God’s dwelling place” is in me, in us His church. And just as the sons of Korah yearned to be in His dwelling place in Psalm 84, even so TODAY God yearns to be in us, alive, active, on a pilgrimage, until we get Home to be with Him. Are you walking with Him today? Are you yearning for Him today? Close in prayer