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84. Psalm 84

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

3Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.

4Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

8O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

9Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

10. For better is one day in thy courts than a thousand elsewhere. Unlike the greater part of mankind, who desire to live without knowing why, wishing simply that their life may be prolonged, David here testifies, not only that the end which he proposed to himself in living was to serve God, but that in addition to this, he set a higher value on one day which he could spend in the divine service, than upon a long time passed among the men of the world, from whose society true religion is banished. It being lawful for none but the priests to enter into the inner and innermost courts of the temple, David expressly declares, that provided he were permitted to have a place at the porch, he would be contented with this humble station; for the Hebrew word ספ, saph, signifies a door-post, or the threshold of a house. 470470     This explanation is adopted by Walford, who reads, “Jehovah giveth favor and honor.” “The common gloss on these words,” he observes, “is, that God first bestows grace on earth, and then glory in heaven. But this is an interpretation of the ear rather than of the understanding. The writer is evidently speaking of the present happy consequences of walking uprightly as he immediately says. The judgment of Calvin agrees with this statement.” The value which he set upon the sanctuary is presented in a very striking light by the comparison, that he would prefer having a place at the very doors of the temple, to his having full possession of the tents of wickedness, the plain import of which is, that he would rather be cast into a common and unhonoured place, provided he were among the people of God, than exalted to the highest rank of honor among unbelievers. A rare example of godliness indeed! Many are to be found who desire to occupy a place in the Church, but such is the sway which ambition has over the minds of men, that very few are content to continue among the number of the common and undistinguished class. Almost all are carried away with the frantic desire of rising to distinction, and can never think of being at ease until they have attained to some station of eminence.


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