Although man is the only earthly creature created in the image of God, and therefore is a thinking-willing creature, the creatures who were created below man often put him to shame after his fall into sin. Of that the psalmist speaks in Psalm 84:3-4, in these words, "Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; they will be still praising Thee. Selah."
These creatures knew their needs and sought a solution to their problems. They found protection, safety, comfort, and where they might bring forth their young and shield them. That place meant very much to them. But how lovely do we really consider God's house to be? Are there not so many other places where we would rather go? Is not the sermon too long? Do our sins really bother us, and do we know our need and want comfort? Are we not pretty callous about our guilt? Can we sincerely sing?
The sparrow has her place of rest;
The swallow through Thy kindly care,
Has found where she may build her nest,
And brood her young in safety there;
Thy altars as my rest I sing,
O Lord of Hosts, my God, my King.
Surely in God's house we obtain blessings and are moved to praise God for His mercy in Christ. In the measure that we go to His house and do listen to Him in the preaching, we will be blest and want to praise Him. In the measure Christ is preached from our pulpit, we will cry out, "How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord, of Hosts!"
There you have the psalmist expressing his enjoyment in meeting God. There, too, you hear him praising God for His mercy in Christ.
His last word, namely, Selah, is also important. It means: pause and think this over! By all means do that. Do not rush away from the preaching and brush it aside. Give the truth sincere and profound thought. Listen to what God has to say to you in His house. More precious and valuable speech you will hear nowhere else. Is then His house a lovely place in your judgment?
Read: Hebrews 4
Psalter versification: #229:2
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #18#18
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Isaiah 8 ; Isaiah 9:1-21
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Quote for Reflection:
The incarnation is the revelation of the living God! The Creator united Himself most intimately with the creature; the Lord also became servant; the Eternal One came into time, the Infinite One into space. Great is the mystery of godliness: God is manifest in the flesh. —Herman Hoeksema
- Date: 11-September