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Psalms 84

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 [a][b]How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.[c]
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield,[e] O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

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Psalms 84 Commentary

Chapter 84

The psalmist expresses his affection to the ordinances of God. (1-7) His desire towards the God of the ordinances. (8-12)

Verses 1-7 The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird. Yet they are only an earnest of the happiness of heaven; but how can men desire to enter that holy habitation, who complain of Divine ordinances as wearisome? Those are truly happy, who go forth, and go on in the exercise of religion, in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, from whom all our sufficiency is. The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.

Verses 8-12 In all our addresses to God, we must desire that he would look on Christ, his Anointed One, and accept us for his sake: we must look to Him with faith, and then God will with favour look upon the face of the Anointed: we, without him, dare not show our faces. The psalmist pleads love to God's ordinances. Let us account one day in God's courts better than a thousand spent elsewhere; and deem the meanest place in his service preferable to the highest earthly preferment. We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Through he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.

Cross References 22

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 27:4; Psalms 43:3; Psalms 90:1; Psalms 132:5
  • 2. S Job 19:27; Psalms 42:1-2
  • 3. S Joshua 3:10
  • 4. S Psalms 43:4
  • 5. Jeremiah 44:11
  • 6. Psalms 2:6
  • 7. Psalms 5:2
  • 8. Psalms 81:1
  • 9. Jeremiah 31:6
  • 10. S Job 38:26
  • 11. Joel 2:23
  • 12. S Job 17:9; Proverbs 4:18
  • 13. S Deuteronomy 16:16
  • 14. 1 Kings 8:1
  • 15. Psalms 4:1
  • 16. S Psalms 59:11
  • 17. 1 Samuel 16:6; Psalms 2:2; Psalms 18:50; Psalms 132:17
  • 18. 1 Chronicles 23:5
  • 19. Isaiah 60:19; Jeremiah 43:13; Revelation 21:23
  • 20. S Genesis 15:1
  • 21. Psalms 34:10
  • 22. Psalms 2:12

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 84:1-12 is numbered 84:2-13.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 8.
  • [d]. Or "blessings"
  • [e]. Or "sovereign"

Chapter Summary

Psalms 84 Commentaries