30 Days of Thanks & Praise! - Day #5 – One Day in God’s House (Psalm 84:10)
Psalm 84:10, “For 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.”
The psalmist declared in Psalm 84:10, “For 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.” Just for a moment, consider the magnitude of that statement. One day versus one thousand days. One thousand days almost equates to three years. So in essence, the psalmist implies that one day in the house of God is better than three years somewhere else…anywhere else. Think of the lush beaches of Hawaii. Consider the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. What about the subtle serenity of the Smokies? Think of palaces, castles, mansions, and coliseums. None of these places compare to the incomparable glory of the presence of God! The courts are God's courts and represent His presence. A day in his presence is better than a 1000 days in anyone else's. If you could spend a thousand days with some important politician or entertainment figure, you would be very excited at the opportunity. The prestige that comes from being with a famous person would be great. But the Scripture says a day with God is better than 1000 days with anyone else. The psalmist was so mesmerized and infatuated with God’s House that he succumbed to the notion, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” He would rather be a lowly servant in God’s House fulfilling a menial task than to sit among the world’s elite in places of luxury. David Livingstone said, “I'd rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God, than on the throne of England, out of the will of God.”
Spurgeon wrote, “To feel his love, to rejoice in the person of the anointed Saviour, to survey the promises and feel the power of the Holy Ghost in applying precious truth to the soul, is a joy which worldlings cannot understand, but which true believers are ravished with.” A doorkeeper at God’s house was the lowest position assigned to the Levites. Likely, the youngest Levites with the least seniority were assigned this humble task. There was no glory in standing guard at the doors of the Tabernacle. The tents of wickedness undoubtedly refer to the places of sinful entertainment—the nightlife of that day, the haunts of the high rollers, the resorts of the rich and famous. God’s worst is better than the devil’s best. The psalmist pleads guilty to desiring only the humblest service in God’s house rather than the posh pleasures of the elite. Indeed, there is no greater job than in serving the King of kings. Even the lowest level of His service is higher than anything the world has to offer.
This psalm describes people who are so devoted to God that they desire above everything else to be in God’s house to experience God’s nearness, to worship Him with other faithful believers. In a day when Christians frequently skip church to pursue recreation, I wonder how many could honestly say that one day of gathering with God’s people to worship Him is better than a thousand days of other leisure activities? The psalmist enjoyed the company of God’s people greater than anything that the world had to offer. If we can’t join him in these feelings, maybe we need to re-examine our values! It is certain that we can worship and serve God outside of the walls of His House (and indeed we should). However, there is something gratifying about approaching our designated places of worship. What you find at God’s House you find nowhere else. If you are dedicated to the Lord, you will know what is good, best and better. You will have a good sense of values and will show it especially in the spiritual sphere. You will know what is important and what is not. The world will not help us here. It has a very distorted sense of values. It will sacrifice eternity upon the altar of time. When we have a poor perspective or sense of values, we will spend on what is worthless and will not spend for that which is of great value. Such a practice, when it is in the spiritual area of our life, is to invite eternal disaster. The better the dedication to the Lord the better the priorities and perspective of life.
If I had just one day to live, I'd want to live it still surrendered to the Lord's will for my life. Being used in the Lord’s service and fully surrendered brings the most satisfaction. There is no higher calling than that of simply being what the Lord wants you to be! When the Lord is preeminent, all of His things will become exceedingly precious to me, and I will want to be near Him at all times!
Prayer: Father in Heaven, Give me a longing for Your presence in my life above all worldly attractions and desires. It is awesome to think that You will withhold no good thing if I will abide with You and walk in Your ways. Give me a desire for You and faith to trust You each day.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.