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Psalm 84 comes from the depth of the psalmist’s heart. It describes the kind of worship expressed in the Westminster Catechism: “The chief end of man is to love God and to enjoy him forever.”
Worship is not something that should be pulled out of us. Rather, it is a natural, genuine outflow of gratitude and reverence that comes from our love relationship with God.
The psalmist ached, even grieved for the Temple, the place of worship. He was like a man starving for bread. Whatever was barring him access to the Temple was extremely troublesome to him. If he could just get to the Temple, he would burst out in song. To sing joyfully would satisfy that deep hunger for the awareness of God’s presence.
He envied the birds who built their nests in God’s house. He was righteously jealous of those who served in God’s house. Could there be better place on earth?
For pilgrims coming to the Temple in Jerusalem, it meant walking through a very strenuous area at the Valley of Baca (v6), a valley of weeping (v6 NLT). We will all face a valley of weeping. No one can escape pain in life. You live, you will hurt. Brokenness and tears are written into life. Yet the psalmist found that worship enables us to persevere through hard times. As we worship, we are empowered, refreshed and strengthened. A difficult season does not diminish our relationship with God. Rather, we move from strong to stronger.
The psalmist had an outlandish love for God. “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” (v10 NLT) He would be happy “scrubbing floors” in the house of God (v10 The Message).
A final blessing of worship is protection, favour and honour. Worship invites God to wrap us in his extravagant love.
Dear Father, I love to worship you! Thank you for teaching me that worship is not just a traditional act, but a life-transforming life-style. You have taught me in the hard places that worship infuses inner strength and peace. Thank you for wrapping me in Your love. Amen.