Psalm 84:1-4 (ESV)

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A PSALM OF THE SONS OF KORAH.

How lovely is your dwelling place,

O LORD of hosts!

[2] My soul longs, yes, faints

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and flesh sing for joy

to the living God.

[3] 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.

[4] Blessed are those who dwell in your house,

ever singing your praise! Selah

For the last few days we have been considering things said in the Book of Jeremiah regarding the sins of Judah and God’s righteous indignation against them for their refusal to repent. It is a true and accurate picture of God but it is not the only one. Our God is beyond finding out. He is incomprehensible. Those who only have an angry God do not have the God of the Bible. Those who only have a merciful God do not have the God of the Bible. We want to worship God as He is.

The God who is angry at sin and righteously indignant at those who live in enjoyment of sin and rejection of Christ is also the God who invites people to come and find welcome. He is tender and compassionate. He longs to pour out good upon those who will come to Him.

This is beautifully and powerfully portrayed in Psalm 84:3. The Psalmist is talking about how lovely the temple of God is. He longs to be in the courts of the temple. It feeds his soul. And then he says an amazing thing. “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,”.

If little birds are welcome to nest in the dwelling house of God then how much more those who are created in the image of God? God allows the helpless and defenseless and the hunted to find a place of safety with Him. God is a micro-manager. He even sees to it that the temple, which was peculiarly His dwelling place, can be used to provide a home for birds.

There is no law that tells the Israelites how to get small bothersome creatures out of the temple. There are laws about getting mold out of the house. There are laws about infectious diseases. There are laws about tassels on the edges of garments. But God never intended that little animals be prevented from building their nests in the temple where the worship of God and sacrifices portraying the death of Jesus take place.

God does not invite people to misery and despair. He invites people to safety and peace and protection form evil. The troubles of the saints are without number and it is easy for us to get cynical when the talk turns to peace and safety and security. But the promises to the children of God are consistent. Through faith in Jesus Christ we have a place to dwell that is safe and joyful even in the midst of the horrors of life. There will be persecution and opposition and ridicule. There will be failure and hardships of all kinds. There may be premature death. “In this world you will have tribulation, but rejoice, for I have overcome the world”, Jesus said. And nothing that happens in the life of the believer can destroy the truth that is so beautifully pictured in Psalm 84:3.

God welcomes us into His presence. He is glad that we are there. He enjoys us and rejoices that we find our home in His presence. What a glorious picture of a caring Father. Believer, this is who you worship. This is who you serve and this is who you come to with your needs. Come with boldness. He cares for the sparrow. Will He not care for you who are worth much more?