Listen to this Sermon: 02242013Psa84DonRuhl

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The Blessedness of Living in God’s House 

Do you believe that living in God’s house is better than living anywhere else?

Psalm 84

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 24, In the year of our Lord, 2013

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin Lopez – First Timothy 3.14, 15

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – Anything magnifying the church



  1. What are the lovely things on Earth? 
    1. For what lovely things does your soul long?
    2. What makes you faint if you cannot have it? Before answering…
  2. First, hear what First Timothy 3 says,

    15 …the house of God…is the church of the living God… (1Ti 3.15).
  3. Second, hear what Ephesians 5 says,

    19 …speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… (Eph 5.19).

    1. To sing the Psalms,
    2. we need to know the Psalms.
      1. Once we know the Psalms,
      2. we will know how to adapt them to the church.
  4. In Psalm 84, we find all these things. 
    1. Psalm 84 shows
      1. something that is lovely,
      2. something for which our souls long, and
      3. something that is faint-worthy.
    2. Psalm 84 speaks of the house of God,
      1. which is now the church, and
      2. it is a psalm that Paul told us to use.


  1. Psalm 84.0 – Singing in God’s House

    0 To the Chief Musician.
    On an instrument of Gath.
    A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
    (Psa 84.0)

    1. The sons of Korah wrote a song/prayer on an instrument of Gath, which is
      1. a place in Philistia, the enemy of Israel, but
      2. what was used formerly for and by God’s enemies,
        1. the sons of Korah used to praise God,
        2. even as we formerly used our bodies, our lives, our words
          1. to sin and to fight the things of God, but now
          2. we use to glorify Him.
    2. The sons of Korah did not follow the way of their father,
      1. who rebelled against the leaders of God’s people, Moses and Aaron, but
      2. the sons of Korah saw the error of their father and avoided it,
        1. dedicating themselves to the God of Israel,
        2. just as we see our error, and turn to the Lord.
  2. Psalm 84.1, 2 – The Loveliness of God’s House

    1 How lovely is Your tabernacle,
    O Lord of hosts!
    2 My soul longs, yes, even faints
    For the courts of the Lord;
    My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
    (Psa 84.1, 2)

    1. The theme of this psalm is the house of God, variously referred to as
      1. “Your tabernacle” (v. 1),
      2. “the courts of the Lord” (v. 2),
      3. “Your altars” (v. 3),
      4. “Your house” (v. 4),
      5. “God in Zion” (v. 7), and
      6. “Your courts” (v. 10).
    2. Verse 1 shows that the beauty of God’s house makes it love-worthy.
      1. The house of God is now the Bride of Christ, and
      2. any bride is beautiful, but
        1. the bride of Christ surpasses them all, because
        2. we adorn her with our righteous acts,

          8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Rev 19.8).

    3. Listen to the psalmists continue to speak to God,
      1. declaring the beauty of His tabernacle, and
      2. that the soul of the psalmists longed for,
        1. even fainted for, the courts of the Lord, because
        2. the heart and flesh of the psalmists
          1. cried out for the living God, because
          2. only He can fill that void in us.
    4. This was where the people met God, and
      1. to the sons of Korah that made it a beautiful experience.
      2. Non-Christians may not understand this, but
        1. the worship/edification assembly surpasses all experiences on Earth.
        2. The church is the house of God, because
          1. He has chosen to live there, and
          2. we are now the temple of God,

            16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Co 3.16).

    5. God made us for Himself. Therefore,
      1. our bodies hunger for God.
      2. Our souls hunger for Him.
        1. For that reason we find no comfort or satisfaction in life
        2. until we find it in God.
          1. Some people need guilt to drive them to worship, but
          2. the sons of Korah hungered for it.
  3. Psalm 84.3, 4 – All Find a Home in God’s House

    3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
    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.
    4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
    They will still be praising You.
    (Psa 84.3, 4)

    1. The psalmists wanted to go into God’s house, because
      1. they saw birds flying in and out of the house of God,
      2. flying right to the altar!
        1. If birds could go there,
        2. why not man?
    2. Look at the last two lines of verse 3,
      1. as the sons of Korah address God as Yahweh of hosts,
      2. pleading, “O Lord of hosts,”
        1. backing that up with, “My King and My God.”
        2. That is a heart yearning for God!
    3. Truly, blessed are those who dwell where God dwells!
  4. Selah – Ponder God’s House


    1. Think on these things.
    2. Think about the house of God often, because
      1. the Lord does, and
      2. in the end He saves the church only.
  5. Psalm 84.5–7 – Seeking God’s House

    5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
    Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
    6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
    They make it a spring;
    The rain also covers it with pools.
    7 They go from strength to strength;
    Each one appears before God in Zion.
    (Psa 84.5–7)

    1. Blessed is that person whose strength is the Lord,
      1. not money, not government, not family, not health, nothing else, but
      2. such a person sets his heart on the place where the Lord is, and so
        1. no options exist when assembling with the church.
        2. They do not decide every Lord’s Day what to do, because
          1. the day they made the Lord their strength,
          2. they made the decision for all time to assemble, because
            1. when they were baptized,
            2. they knew that the Lord put them into the church.
    2. Verses 6 and 7 show that as faithful members of the church,
      1. they bless the world wherever they go!
      2. It is like bringing water to a dry place.
        1. They make the valley of depression, the spring of gladness.
        2. They salt the Earth and light the world.
        3. Like Jacob with Laban, they prosper those around them.
        4. Like Joseph in prison, they make their surroundings better for all.
        5. Like Esther before the Persians, they bless their new home.
    3. They go from strength to strength,
      1. getting stronger all the time, because
        1. as the last line of verse 7 indicates,
      2. in the house of God, the church,
        1. they appear before God, and
        2. that takes them from human strength to divine strength.
      3. As Scripture says,

        16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (2Co 4.16).

        31 But those who wait on the Lord
        Shall renew their strength;
        They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
        They shall run and not be weary,
        They shall walk and not faint.
        (Isa 40.31)

        16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace (John 1.16).

        17 For in [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1.17).

        1. Experiencing God in the church
        2. takes us from one good thing to another!
          1. He gives strength for one thing, and then
          2. we discover that He gives strength for something else also.
      4. As Moses said to the tribe of Asher,

        25 “Your sandals shall be iron and bronze;
        As your days, so shall your strength be.”
        (Deu 33.25)

  6. Psalm 84.8 – Pray in God’s House

    8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    Give ear, O God of Jacob!

    1. God wants to hear our prayer, but
      1. sometimes we are not so sure He does.
      2. We pray and pray, but
        1. the thing for which we pray
        2. never seems to come.
    2. Sometimes we just assume that we can pray.
      1. Yes, God wants to hear us, but
      2. we need to understand that He does not have to hear us.
        1. Let us not think that God is our servant,
        2. just standing there ready to do our bidding.
          1. We are the servants.
          2. We are the children.
          3. We are the creatures.
    3. Interestingly, the sons of Korah referred to the Lord as the God of Jacob,
      1. the man who wrestled with an angel until Jacob receive a blessing.
      2. So as we faint for God,
        1. we struggle with Him,
        2. until we get a blessing.
  7. Selah – Ponder Prayer in God’s House


    1. Think on the benefit of prayer in the church.
    2. We pray alone, but
      1. in the house of God, we join our hearts with others, and
      2. we hear someone speak to God differently than we do, but
        1. we like what we hear, and
        2. we offer a hearty “Amen” afterwards.
    3. Since prayer in the house of God is so precious, hear what the psalm says next.
  8. Psalm 84.9–11 – The Blessedness of Living in God’s House

    9 O God, behold our shield,
    And look upon the face of Your anointed.
    10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
    I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
    11 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.
    (Psa 84.9–11)

    1. God, see our shield.
      1. Look upon us,
      2. your anointed, Christians, which means anointed.
        1. We are in sad shape.
        2. Therefore, O God, hear our prayers.
    2. God, look upon our situation, because
      1. we favor your court more than any other.
        1. We will take one day in your courts
        2. more than a thousand elsewhere.
          1. We would much rather be doorkeepers in Your house
          2. than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
        3. One day in Your glory far exceeds a thousand days in the glory of men.
          1. Truly, the lowest in the house of God
          2. have a position higher than the highest in the house of men.
        4. We would much rather bear burdens in Your house, God,
          1. than have a place of prominence in the kingdoms of men.
          2. As it was said of Moses, so it is said of us,

            24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward (Heb 11.24–26).

      2. God, see our shield, look upon our faces, because
        1. You are our sun and shield.
          1. As the sun is to our bodies,
          2. so you are to our souls.
            1. As a shield protects the body,
            2. so you protect our souls.
        2. You give grace and glory.
        3. You do not withhold good from those who walk uprightly.

          21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1Co 3.21–23).

    3. Therefore, verse 12 just flows naturally from our lips.
  9. Psalm 84.12 – Learn of Trust in God’s House

    12 O Lord of hosts,
    Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
    (Psa 84.12)

    1. How can such a man not be blessed?
    2. The Lord of hosts, Jesus,
      1. runs the universe;
      2. we trust Him to run our lives.


  1. Who are the blessed people in this life? They are those 
    1. who dwell in the house of God,
    2. whose strength is in God,
    3. who seek the church, and
    4. who trust in God.
  2. Who is our God? 
    1. He is the One who dwells in the body of Christ, the church,
    2. He is the Lord of hosts, the Commander of the angelic host in heaven,
    3. He is the One who lives forever, and gives life,
    4. He is our King and our God,
    5. He is the One we praise,
    6. He is the One to whom we sing,
    7. He is the One who hears our prayers,
    8. He is the One who gives us strength,
    9. He is our sun and our shield!
  3. If you are not a part of this, think on what you can do to have a part,

    13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit (1Co 12.13).