Psalm 84: The Vally of Baca – Pt 3

(Psa 84:8) O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

(Psa 84:9) Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

The final conclusion is a prayer of hopeful remembrance. The Psalmist is asking for God to once again turn His face to him and bless him with a return to the courts of the Lord. It brings to mind 2 Chronicles 7:14-15, which reads:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

I take it, and I alone it seems, that when the Psalmist refers to the God of Jacob (instead of the three Patriarchs) that he might just have in mind Jacob’s separation from his homeland, God’s promise to bring him back (Gen 28:20) and how God brought him once again to the house of the Lord (Bethel)

(Psa 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.

‘Courts’ here is the same as in verse 2. Here again, to be even in the outer reaches of the tabernacles of God is better than to dwell with the wicked. The Psalmist would rather be a servant (again, Prodigal Son) in the house of his God, then to be well thought of. The phrase is literally, “I choose to sit at the threshold.” Reminds one of the woman with the blood disease who only desired to touch the hem of the garment of Christ. For those separated from God, just a glimpse, a taste, or a touch of God seems better to them than all that they have around them.

(Psa 84:11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

The Lord is the source of light and warmth and brings Creation to life. He will give mercy and honor and will hold back nothing that we need if we walk undefiled.

(Psa 84:12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Thus the completion of the Psalm, summed up with a single line. Had David walked undefiled before God and kept God as a refuge, hope, trust, then he would not have been separated from God.

Again, we turn to Isaac Watts:

The Lord his people loves;
His hand no good withholds
From those his heart approves:
From pure and pious souls
Thrice happy he,
O God of Hosts,
Whose spirit trust
Alone in Thee!

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