April 14: Psalm 84
Blest to be in the Lord’s presence
76.76 D Aurelia (The Church’s One Foundation), p. 120
O Lord of hosts, how lovely the place where Thou dost dwell.
The tabernacles holy in pleasantness excel.
My soul is longing, fainting, Jehovah’s courts to see;
My heart and flesh are crying, O living God, for Thee.
Behold the sparrow findeth a house in which to rest,
The swallow has discovered where she may build her nest;
And where, securely sheltered, her young she forth may bring;
So Lord of hosts, Thy altars I seek, my God, my King.
Blest who Thy house inhabit, they ever give Thee praise;
Blest all whom Thou dost strengthen, who walk in pilgrim ways,
Who pass through Baca’s valley, make it a place of springs,
The pools are filled with water which autumn rain then brings!
So they from strength unwearied go forward unto strength,
Till they appear in Zion, before the Lord at length.
O hear, Lord God of Jacob, to me an answer yield;
Look well on Thy anointed, behold, O God, our Shield.
One day excels a thousand, if spent Thy courts within;
I’ll choose a threshold rather than dwell in tents of sin.
The Lord our sun and shield is, who grace and honor gives;
No good will He deny them that blamelessly do live.
O God of hosts, Jehovah, how blest is every one
Who confidence reposes on Thee, O Lord, alone.
O Lord of hosts, how lovely the place where thou dost dwell.
Thy tabernacles holy in pleasantness excel.
The image of Jesus as God’s true temple, which provides the proper Christological key to Psalm 84, is indicated in the Gospel of John. Fairly early in that Gospel, when Jesus speaks of the destruction of the temple, the evangelists notes: “But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:21). This body of Christ, in the Johannine context, is His resurrected flesh and blood, the permanent and even physical abiding place of God’s presence. John will say of heaven: “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22). Jesus is the one place where we meet God, and we too abide in Jesus, being united to God in Him. Such is the proper Christological context for our praying of Psalm 84. When we say to God, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; for ever and ever will they praise You,” we are referring to the worship offered to the Father by those who abide in Christ, both on earth and in heaven. (Reardon, p. 165-166)