Saturday, April 15, 2017

April 15

Joshua 11:1-12:24; Luke 17:11-37; Psalm 84:1-12; Proverbs 13:5-6

Psalm 84 is so, so beautiful.  It's good theology and good poetry all rolled up into one - the perfect mixture for worship.  

There's such a longing, a spiritual ache of sorts ("my soul yearns, even faints" [Ps. 84:2]), as the psalmist is trying to get as close to God as possible.  He envies the sparrow and the swallow for their proximity near God (vs. 3); they have a place the psalmist could never hope to occupy.  Their place is safe and secure, a home.

The psalmist, too, longs to live with God.  "Blessed are those who dwell in your house" (vs. 4), and even just one day in God's presence is better than a lifetime in any other place (see vs. 10).  In fact, so passionately does the writer desire to be with God that the place of a servant takes on new attraction (vs. 10).  (Is anyone else reminded of the prodigal son's decision to present himself to his father as a hired hand [Lk. 15:19]?)  God is so great and so good and so compelling that anything - any role, any position, any occupation - is worth being near him.  No pride here, just a yearning that must be satisfied.

Why?  Why does this man aspire to such closeness to God?  Why sacrifice power or prestige or wealth or circumstance?  Why make extravagant declarations?  Well, he knows the truth.  He knows that the Lord Almighty is King (vs. 4) and "a sun and a shield" (vs. 11).  He knows the history of God's relationship with Israel and his faithful promise-keeping (see vs. 8).  He knows that blessing is possible only within God's presence, as he remembers to trust God (see vs. 5, 12).

Truly, Lord God, it is better to spend one day in your presence than a lifetime anywhere else.  Amen and amen.

- Sarah Marsh

 How did God speak to you in Scripture today? Click here to share your reflections on God's word or read past posts. We'd love to hear from you.

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