Can you see them? The sons of Korah are about to sing a song of ecstasy with an instrument of Gath (whatever that may be). They have returned from an intense time of worship and prayer. They, similar to Isaiah, saw the Lord high and lifted up. They no doubt caught a glimpse of the Holy Throne Room of God Himself. It is with this fresh viewpoint of God’s dwelling place they utter this song:
How lovely is Your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out
For the living God.
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.
Psalm 84.1-2, 10
Have you ever seen God with such clarity that your heart melted, your mind raptured, and your soul burst into ecstasy? Such is the intensity the sons of Korah (the Psalmists) felt while penning Psalm 84. A drop from the endless ocean of God’s presence touched their parched lips and they fell back with rhapsodies of praise. They could not stop, slow, or stymie exaltation from bubbling forth from within. And I believe that every bit of it is true.
When an angel, a mere servant of the Most High, appeared to individuals throughout the Old Testament, they responded flat on their face in reverence and adoration. How much more so with God Himself? And here we are offered a peak at the dwelling place of the Most High. Lovely, longing, and fainting are the words used to describe what is no doubt an indescribable experience. Just to be there for one day, 24 short hours, is better than being anywhere else for all eternity. In fact, to have the position of a lowly servant in such a place would be far superior than to live like a King in the land of sin and wickedness.
While all true, we are living in the New Covenant. We no longer serve an outside God (like they did in the Old Testament) … we have a God who has come to live and dwell INSIDE us! The very same God, who caused His dwelling place to stir descriptions laden with elation, has now come to dwell inside of you and me. We have become His tabernacle, His dwelling place. We have something far better than all the Old Testament peoples could wish for – the God Most High dwelling not amongst but within His people. It is His one burning passion and desire. In fact you can almost hear Him whisper: “O how lovely are you My dwelling place. I am overcome with longing and nearly faint with the thought. My heart cries out to dwell within you.” This is what He has been heading toward all along – Pentecost – the outside God coming inside to live, reign, and source our lives. No longer do we live, as Paul wrote, but now it is Christ and He alone within us!
If words of praise, exaltation, reverence, bliss, and jubilation sprang forth from the lips of those who glimpsed God’s Throne Room, how much more should we live in awe, wonder, adoration, and worship – for we have become His dwelling place?