What Works When Life Doesn’t

31 January 2012

What Works When Life Doesn’t

Psalm 84 was probably written by David when he fled Jerusalem in exile during his son Absalom’ s rebellion. Imagine his agony over Absalom, and yet he focused on God. With this perspective, meet God in this Psalm.

Psalm 84:

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, 0 Lord Almighty!

  • Compare this with Isaiah 66: 1-2.
  • Can you identify with David as he breaks out in praise? How do you enter the courts of God, according to Psalm 100:4? Do you daily offer the sacrifice of praise that is the entrance into His presence?
  • Are you a worshiper? If not, what is hindering you from going into His courts to worship?
  • Where are you finding satisfaction?
  • Respond to your Lord Almighty.

2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

  • Can you identify with David’s holy homesickness for drawing near to God?
    • Meditate on Psalm 42: 1-4, 43:3-4, and 73:23-28. What is your heart saying to God? Have you been spiritually homeless, away from intimate communion with your Father?
    • What is your greatest spiritual need?
    • Respond to your living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young-a place near your altar, 0 Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

  • Ask God what or where His resting place is?
    • On God’s part, the altar is atonement for sin and reconciliation, which equals peace. On man’s side, the altar is sacrifice, surrender, commitment, and worship, which equals rest. Have you been to both altars? Is He both your Savior and Lord?
    • Respond to your King and your God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising you.

  • Can you spiritually dwell in His presence all your days? As long as you are able to praise, you are there. Read Psalm 23 :6.
  • Read Psalm 27:4. What does “one thing” say to you?
  • What is God impressed with in your daily life? What would He called blessed?
  • Respond to the One who is worthy of your uninterrupted heart devotion.

5 Blessed are those who strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

  • What are two conditions of blessedness in verses 4 and 5?
  • What does Isaiah 40: 3 -5 say about this pilgrimage?
    • Where did you come from? Where are you going? Consider your progress on your journey deeper into God’s heart.
  • Respond to God, the highest object of your affection.

6 As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

  • Meditate on the symbolic meaning of Valley of Baca, the valley of weeping. Describe it, based on your expenence.
  • Focus on passing through the valley of tears, looking for the springs (wells), confident ofthe season of healing. Does this encourage you if you have become weary of life? What hope do you receive from Hosea 2: 15 (read verses 14-23)?
  • Respond to God, your hope of refreshment.

7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

  • What is the one key word to your freedom in Christ? Ponder the sure fulfillment of God’s promise that you will reach the goal of your longing with ever-increasing strength. What does this say to you?

Respond to God, your strength.

8 Hear my prayer, 0 Lord God Almighty; listen to me, 0 God of Jacob.

Are you absolutely confident that God is listening to your prayers?

  • Are you willing to pray, “Lord, teach me to know you so intimately that I am confident you are speaking to me. Teach me to pray.”
    • Respond to the God of Jacob, your covenant-keeping God.

9 Look upon our shield, 0 God; look with favor on your anointed one.

  • How is God your shield?
  • What does it mean to have a sense of God’s favor? What does He want to favor you with?
  • Respond to God who calls you His favorite chosen one.

10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

  • Can you imagine a God so vast that our 1000 years is like a single yesterday to Him? Read Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 for confirmation. Where have you judged God to be slow, because you are limited to time-line thinking of earth’s perspective?
    • Charles Spurgeon said that God’s worst is better than the devil’s best. Ask God how He wants you to pursue Him, for He is the best.
    • Ponder that and respond to your eternally worthy God.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor (grace) and honor (glory); no

good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

  • What are the benefits ofthe sun? What are the functions of shields?
  • Grace is the beginning of glory; glory is the result of grace. What does this say to you?
    • When God withholds anything on which you have set your heart, do you trust Him that it is not really good for you? Do you stand in His grace and look for glory at all times in all your circumstances?
    • Respond to God, your glory.

12 0 Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

  • Cross reference Psalm 9: 10. Do you meet this condition for trust?
  • Find three “blessed’s”, v. 4, 5, 12. What is God saying about those promises?
    • Find passion for God’s dwelling (1-4), pilgrimage in God’s way (5-7), prayer to God’s names (8­9), and praise in God’s grace and glory (10-12). In the whole Psalm, look for seven names of God .
    • How do you know God better and love Him more through meeting Him in Psalm 84?
    • Respond to your trustworthy God.

 

Prayer Portions © 1991, 1992, 1995, Sylvia Gunter, P.O. Box 380333, Birmingham, AL 35238 USA. Used by permission.

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