Daily Family Worship

Psalm 84: The Pearl of Psalms

by | May 29, 2024

psalm 84

Pilgrimages to the Tabernacle of the Lord were a great feature of ancient Jewish life. Families journeyed together, making bands which grew at each halting-place. They camped in sunny glades, sang in unison along the roads, and toiled together over the hills and through the valleys; and as they went along, they stored up happy memories which would never be forgotten. It would only be natural, then, for one who was hindered from attending this holy company of pilgrims, and the devout worship of the congregation, to find expression for his sorrowful spirit in this Psalm.

This composition is a Psalm of consolation, which breaks forth into the most sweet and powerful expressions, in praise and love of the ministry of the Word of God. “Blessed are they,” says David, “that dwell in thy house.” They alone are truly blessed, and rest upon a sure and eternal consolation, who dwell in His house and in His Tabernacle – that is, in the place where His Word is taught and heard. Such persons, as the Apostle says, “are increased in all good, and enriched in all wisdom and all knowledge, and with every good gift, so that they can want nothing.” They have all riches! Therefore, let the world have their rich ones, their powerful ones, their wise ones, and their consolations in this world; let them trust and glory in their wisdom, their might, their wealth, and their possessions. As for me, my heart triumphs in the living God! I rejoice, triumph, and glory with all my heart in the assurance that I know God in His Word, and that I am a part of His family in His Church. I would rather remain among this poor and despised flock of God’s people – His Church of poor afflicted ones, who call upon Him in truth. I would hover over them, like a bird over her young in her nest, than live in the most splendid palace of all earthly kings. I would rather sit at the door of the house of the Lord – that is, to occupy the lowest place among the people of God, who are despised and disregarded by the world – than be loaded with all the dainties and riches of the universe, and not belong to the assembly of those who hear and know and love the Word of God.

This Psalm, therefore, exhorts us to allow ourselves to be torn away from all the riches, honors, consolations, and pleasures of the world, rather than be separated from the house of the Lord. No riches nor kingdoms can deliver us from sin or death, or from the power of the devil; nor can they overcome, in our hearts, the terrors of hell or of the judgment of God. But by His Word, the Lord gives grace and victory over all these. “He is a sun and a shield.” In other words, the Word of God is a joyful light in all darkness, a sure consolation in all afflicttions, and a firm fortress and an invincible armor against the violent assaults of the devil and of sin. None of these things can be vanquished by the riches or the wisdom of this world. Therefore, the man, woman, or child who has the Word of God has everything; while the person who does not have the Word of God has nothing at all that is of any real value. How eternally blessed are those who thus love and value the Scriptures! May we pray for grace to be among that happy number!

Lord, we give thanks to You that Your children are not less privileged than the birds of the air; for even though we may sometimes be hindered from being among the public assembly of the Lord’s people, we can never be kept away from our resting-place in You. Thank You for being our Ark – where, like the dove, we may return when we can find no place for the sole of our foot to light upon! Amen.

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