Do you ever read something and are just hit with the profoundness of it? I have been studying the Psalms and the other day I read Psalm 84, sometimes titled Longing for God’s House. I have been asking God to show me the treasure within His word as I study it and because of this request, I often feel ‘nudges’ to look into a verse deeper. After struggling to move past the worship song that played in my head with the first two verses of the Psalm, it seemed to me that verse four held something I needed to pay attention to. What I realized about Psalm 84 verse 4 may seem like something every day, but I had to sit for a moment to just take it in.
The Orthodox Jewish Bible uses the word Ashrei.
Ashrei are they that dwell in Thy Beis; they are ever praising Thee. Selah. (OJB)
The word Ashrei, according to my research, means: Happy; praiseworthy; or fortunate.
This isn’t the human emotion of happy but something far deeper. The human emotion of happy is so fleeting and based on the situations around us. This use of happy is far deeper, possibly more akin to the spiritual fruit of Joy than something that is influenced on the ever changing circumstances around us.
They who reside in God’s house have achieved something that others should strive for, they are seen as special, as wholly filled, simply by living their life in unity with God. The people who reside in God’s house are something to aspire toward. They’re not to be placed on a pedestal, but to be an example to follow.
They that Dwell…
We have to remember that at the time this was Psalm was written, there was still a veil of division between the People and God. Only a select few could truly enter into the Holy of Holies, the heart of God’s presence. Getting to directly enter into His presence was a whole other level that the majority of people at this time could not experience.
The days of Moses coming off the mountain radiating with godly glory were long gone and the days of Christ dying on the cross and ripping the veil were far off.
There’s a specialness about entering God’s presence that we forget because we can do it so freely. A special uniqueness about our relationship with God–the fact that we get to have such a close and intimate relationship with Him–that gets lost in the every day.
The Israelites couldn’t even enter into the Holy of Holies except on a special day and only if they were specifically chosen and had gone through a special ceremonial cleansing. Even then, the other priests would tie a rope around the one chosen by Lots just in case that priest died while in that special place and needed to be pulled out, as no one else could enter.
However, we can enter God’s presence any time we want and even bring all our trash and dirty laundry with us, and God still eagerly welcomes us. That’s amazing.
To be able to dwell continually in God’s presence without jumping through hoops is truly awe inspiring.
In Your House…
It is in God’s house that we are fully immersed in His presence. It’s where we sit at the feet of Jesus and listen as He speaks. It’s where we behold His beauty, His glory, and become transformed into His image.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can enter at any time day or night. There isn’t a guard there telling us the King isn’t in, He’s always in and He is always available to us. Not only is He there, but He ushers us in with loving-kindness no matter how long it has been.
It is in God’s House, His presence, where He becomes our refuge, the shield we need to keep us safe from the attack of the enemy. It is there that we receive the rest He so readily and eagerly calls us to, where He takes the burdens that are weighing us down and sits us down at His table. It is where we communicate with the Father, where we can bare our hearts to Him and He bares His heart to us.
God’s presence is where we are brought to completeness and are made fully whole. There’s a reason this Psalm begins and ends with the way it does.
How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord of Armies. I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.Psalm 84:1-2 CSB
Better is a day in Your courts than a thousand anywhere else.Psalm 84:10 CSB
If you haven’t read Psalm 84 recently, or fully, I encourage you to go read it and just ponder the meaning of it. Think on the ease and privilege we as sons and daughters of God have to be able to enter into our Father’s presence.
Have you entered into His Presence today?