Personalising Psalm 84

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I like Charles Spurgeon’s words on this psalm. He said “this sacred ode is one of the choicest of the collection; it has a mild radiance about it, entitling it to be called The Pearl of Psalms. If the 23rd be the most popular, the 103rd the most joyful, the 119th the most deeply experimental, the 51st the most plaintive, this is one of the most sweet of the Psalms of Peace.”

I find myself in the lovely and peaceful highlands, a land of simple: the perfect place for retreat and refreshing in the Lord. But I miss the fellowship of the Lord my God (not to mention home as well), having to spend countless hours on work, which is why this psalm speaks so much to me right now.

Here I attempt to personalise the psalm as an act of worship and adoration to God, my Lord and my all. O God, hear the words of my heart, which yearns for you now.

How lovely your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
How lovely the work of your hands, the mountains where you dwell, O Lord my God.

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
O how I long to be with you that my heart yearns in agony to be in your presence; my heart and my body wants to shout for joy because of you.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
Just like the birds which have a home, the birds will have their rest; so will I long to find home and to be at rest in your courts, O Lord, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah.
Blessed will I be when I dwell in you, in praise, in adoration, in awe.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Blessed will I be when I depend on you, with my heart attuned to your ways.

As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
Even as I am in misery, I will make it a place of refreshing and joy; your presence covers my gloom with hope.

They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
I will move on from strength to strength, I will appear before you in your presence, in your house.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.
O Lord my God and King, hear the words of my prayer.

Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!
You are my shield, my protection; I pray you will look on my face.

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
A day with you is better than any day anywhere. I’d rather take on the lowest of the lowest in your house than to be in the presence of those who hate you.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O God, you are my sun, you are my shield; you will give favour, you will give honour, for you will not withhold any good things from me if I walk aright in your ways.

O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
O Lord, O God, O King, blessed will I be when I trust in you!


Picture by Julia Tan

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