Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Psalm 84-86
Today’s scripture reading is Psalms 84, 85 and 86; however, I will limit my devotional commentary to Psalm 84, a psalm of praise, thanksgiving and worship.
I am not certain what occasioned the psalmist to be in a place of longing for the “tabernacles” of the LORD (84:1); however, he yearned to be where the saints called upon the LORD (84:2, 4).
How sad the same cannot be said of many who profess to be Christians today! Far too many church members forgo blessed opportunities to worship the LORD for some of the most trivial reasons…a sniffle, a headache, a dark cloud or a raindrop often proves excuse enough to forsake worshipping the LORD (Hebrews 10:25).
Continuing his private worship, the psalmist petitions the LORD to hear his prayer and in his meditations reminds himself that the LORD is “God our Shield [small shield]” (84:9)
Psalm 84:10 – “For a day in thy courts [residence; i.e. Temple; House of worship] is better [more precious or delightful] than a thousand [i.e. other places]. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
What an admirable statement of a who man loves the LORD! Given his choice, the psalmist would choose one day in the house of the LORD over a thousand places of ease and temporal pleasures. Few 21st century Christians have that devotion to the LORD! What a tragedy that many living in Central Florida (and other places of amusements) choose the “courts” of Mickey Mouse and the beauty of the beach over the LORD and His Church on Sunday. As one who is soon to take a much-needed vacation, I appreciate the need for rest; however, too many lack a passion and devotion for worship and serving!
Permit me the liberty of a few memoriam observations regarding Psalm 84:10b – “…I had rather [chose to be] be a doorkeeper [gatekeeper; porter; also a janitor] in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness [i.e. place of ease and temporal pleasures].”
Hillsdale Baptist Church has had many “doorkeepers” (we call them greeters) over the years whose ministry to church members and guests earned them a place in the hearts of our members and the gratitude of this pastor. There are too many to name, but a few “doorkeepers” with the LORD come to mind when I read Psalm 84:10: Charter members, Cliff and Frances Linderman, Stan Hooker, Jim Munro, Mary Cooper, Ken Iverson, and Gaylon Johnson. Add to that number, Mr. Fern Horton, who served at the door until his failing health forced him to pass the task to others. Praise the LORD for the doorkeepers who stand faithfully at the door of our churches and choose to be no other place!
I close today’s devotional commentary with the promise the allures of the world might tempt you to feel you have given up something to love and serve the LORD; however, He promises you His best if you choose to walk before Him and others as a man or woman of integrity.
Psalm 84:11 – “For the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God] God [Elohim; Mighty God] is a Sun [i.e. brilliant or a battlement] and Shield [small shield used for close combat]: the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God] will give grace [favor; kindness] and glory [honor; splendor]: no good [better; sweet; pleasant] thing will He withhold [keep back; restrain] from them that walk uprightly [with integrity; perfect; without a blemish or spot].”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith