PREPARATION DAY- -1 (6/7) Psalm 84 (Leave tomorrow)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young— a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God |
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 LORD Almighty, blessed are those who trust in you.
(Cliff Swallows under ledge)
This is the Psalm of a pilgrim traveling to Jerusalem, thus it suits our trip perfectly. We should catch a bit of his yearning, longing enthusiasm to be in God’s temple in Jerusalem (vs. 2). This pilgrim would love to be a sparrow (vs. 3) or a lowly doorkeeper (vs. 10) in the temple just to be near the temple mount and the presence of the Almighty. Just a single day in the presence of God in Jerusalem is better than a thousand elsewhere. Psalm 124 (6/3) talks about a bird escaping the snare. Now the bird has escaped and found a home. This is how it feels to be in Jerusalem.
This Psalm has a promised blessing for the pilgrim to the holy land and the temple. It is a promise of God’s provision as they travel (springs in the desert). It is a promise of good rest stops along the way, and enough energy to make it. The Psalmist clearly wants those who are traveling to seek God’s favor to not be afraid. He says this plainly with a promise in verse 11- that God is a sun- to warm the cold and show the way; and a shield to protect from enemies and heat.
Instead of being afraid of the journey’s surprises and problems, we are called to be blessed by trusting in God.
Prayer: Lord, may my trip be a pilgrimage. May I grow in trust in you and peace. May this trip be a help to my faith, and a joy in my heart. May you use it in me, Lord, that I might make the world a better, more trusting, peaceful place.