Your dwelling place is lovely, O Lord of Armies!
My soul longs and yearns for the Lord’s courtyards. My whole body shouts for joy to the living God.
Even sparrows find a home, and swallows find a nest for themselves. There they hatch their young near your altars, O Lord of Armies, my king and my God.
Blessed are those who live in your house. They are always praising you. Selah [vss 1-4]
Blessed are those who find strength in you. Their hearts are on the road ⌊that leads to you⌋.
As they pass through a valley where balsam trees grow, they make it a place of springs. The early rains cover it with blessings.
Their strength grows as they go along until each one of them appears in front of God in Zion.
O Lord God, commander of armies, hear my prayer. Open your ears, O God of Jacob. Selah [vss 5-8]
Look at our shield, O God. Look with favor on the face of your anointed one.
One day in your courtyards is better than a thousand ⌊anywhere else⌋.
I would rather stand in the entrance to my God’s house than live inside wicked people’s homes.
The Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord grants favor and honor.
He does not hold back any blessing from those who live innocently.
O Lord of Armies, blessed is the person who trusts you. [vss 9-12]
For the choir director; on the gittith; a psalm by Korah’s descendants. (Psalms 84:1-12 GW)
The tent (or tabernacle) during the time of Moses, and later the temple King Solomon built, represented the dwelling place of God on earth. Moses was told to build the tent (tabernacle) according to the pattern God gave him (Heb 8:5).
When the people of Israel traveled through the desert wilderness and then into the Promised Land, the tent of God's presence was a place of strength and security for them. It reminded God's people that their God was a living God, present with them, and His protection was more powerful than any army on earth.
When Israel was taken captive and exiled from their land—first by the Assyrian empire, then by Babylon—they longed for the assurance of God's presence and protection. God gave His people a promise that wherever they were, when they returned to trusting in Him and repenting of their unfaithfulness and sin, God would restore them.
This psalm has three parts to it. First, a longing for God's presence and the contentment it brings to a person's soul, then the assurance of God's protecting strength because of His presence. Finally, the psalmist lifts up his lyrical prayer of trust in the personal blessing that trust in God brings.
The Lord is a sun and shield who brings favor and honor, so the psalmist says,
"One day in your courtyards is better than a thousand ⌊anywhere else⌋.
Does it seem like God is far from you right now?
He isn't far away at all, just draw near to Him with an open heart.
Here's one of my favorite songs taken from this psalm— Better Is One Day
Here's an older song from Psalm 84— How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!