Longing desires are expressed for the joy of public
ordinances. The happiness is extolled of those who frequent God's court. The
God, who hears and answers prayer, is magnified.
1. "How amiable are Your tabernacles, O Lord of
The Psalmist speaks as one far distant from the hill of
Zion. He remembers the delight of gazing on the beautiful Temple. The very
sight had kindled love and devotion. In the fervor of retrospective ecstasy
he extols the much-loved spectacle. May the sight of every consecrated house
of worship fill us with adoring thoughts of Him whose worship there is
2. "My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of
the Lord; my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God."
Passionate expressions pour forth intense desire for the
enjoyment of God's presence in the sanctuary. The heart burns with longings;
the internal feeling is warmly exhibited. May the like feeling ever swell
3. "Yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the
swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O
Lord of hosts, my King, and my God."
Some obscurity may hide the precise significance of this
poetic image. Let us be content to gain edification. Regard the birds of the
air. They seek and find some secret places of repose, where they may rest in
calm security and nestle with their infant brood. Thus our souls should find
their tranquil home in nearness to their King and their God.
4-7. "How happy are those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises. Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who
set their minds on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the
Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools
of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem."
We see the picture of the tribes pursuing their journey
to the great festivals at Jerusalem. They faint not, neither are weary. The
needful strength is supplied. They are upheld in the journey. A gloomy
valley must be passed, but in it they find refreshment. Water fails not. The
wells have been replenished by the seasonable rains. Their limbs each day
are girded with fresh strength. At last each pious Israelite safely treads
the sanctuary for which his heart had panted. This is a picture of believers
toiling through the march of life. The way is sometimes long; dark valleys
must be passed, but sweet streams are ever near. Needful vigor is
maintained. The heavenly Zion is surely reached. No pilgrim has perished on
the road. They went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land
of Canaan they came.
8. "O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O
God of Jacob."
In such prospect who will not cry, 'Give ear, of Jacob,
listen to my cry, and bring me safely to Your longed-for home?'
9-10. "Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the
face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand; I
would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the
tents of wickedness."
It is good to cause our pilgrimage to resound with
prayer, and ever to recognize God's protecting presence. It is good to
remind Him that we have the unction of the Holy One, and have received the
earnest of heaven into our hearts. It is good to add that we prefer the
lowest station in His courts to the highest splendors of stately palaces.
Let us be followers of Moses, who chose rather to suffer affliction with the
people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had
respect unto the recompense of the reward.
11-12. "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord
will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who
walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in You."
Who is a God like our God? What can we require that is
not ours in Him? What is the sun to the world? What is the shield in the day
of battle? All this and more than this He is to us. What can they need, from
whom no good thing is withheld? May the Spirit guide us to walk uprightly!
Then shall we inherit the blessedness of all who trust in Him.