Psalm 84:5-12

“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of host! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young – even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:1-5.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You.” Psalm 84:5a.

Our strength lies in Christ, all things must be brought before Him, our decisions, our health, our fears, our families, their health and well being at all times.

“…pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

“…praying always with all prayer and supplication [entreaty i.e. any pious request to God] in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints [including your loved ones]…” Ephesians 6:18.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in Him I will trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall l be saved from my enemies. When the waves of death encompassed me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid; the sorrows of Sheol surrounded me, the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God. He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.” 2 Samuel 22:2-7.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5.

Let us now consider the second half of verse 5 above, “…whose heart is set on pilgrimage.”

Those around us who have no interest in God are called in the Greek, [katoikeo] “earth dwellers” in Revelation 3:10 and 13:8.

The idea is the same in the Hebrew translation of Psalms 17:13-15 and 49:1, which means; “Those who love the things of the world.”

Read Psalm 49:1-15 to get an idea of the mentality of the first verse, “…all inhabitants of the world…” Psalm 49:1.

The Greek word katoikeo in Revelation 3:10 and 13:8 refers to individuals who inhabit this earth as their real home and they identify themselves with the world’s commerce and religion.

Christians, on the other hand are referred to as strangers and pilgrims on this earth.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13.

Our heart must be set on pilgrimage, and we should not be distracted by the shiny baubles we see in our path.

Too many Christians have gone astray when they became distracted by the world’s evanescent treasures, we cannot forget that we are just passing through with the desire to gather fellow travelers on the way.

“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools.” Psalm 84:6.

The Valley of Baca is not a geographical location; rather the wording indicates a place of desolation or weeping. It may mean that the pilgrim passes through these trials of weeping or desolation as they go through life.

Yet I think of it as the pilgrim strong in the Lord passing through this world, this valley of desolation, and in passing through, they make it a place of beauty, fresh water and springs appear and lush vegetation grows up from once dry ground along the way.

The world would be a different place if Christians were a different, more Christ-like people. Yes, many are, yet not enough.

“They go from strength to strength; every one of them appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:7.

The pilgrim gains strength from God and as they travel along they gain more strength, they grow ever stronger in the Lord day by day.

“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16.

This means grace piled upon grace in the Christian life. If you have been a Christian long, look back on your life and count your blessings and observe grace piled upon grace, this gives strength to strength, if God helped us yesterday we know He will help us today.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9.

And the promise is that we will all appear “before God in Zion”.

“O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed.” Psalm 84:8-9.

Selah either means, stop and consider, or it is an instruction to the musicians to pause momentarily.

The last sentence here is particularly exciting when understood. The last word anointed means Messiah in the Hebrew, which is in the Greek, the Christ, a reference to God’s anointed King, Jesus Christ.

It may help to rephrase this sentence for clarity, “O God look on the shield which protects us and see the face of your Christ. It is He whom we trust for our salvation and protection”.

Christ Jesus the Messiah is clearly shown to be God in Scripture, so the psalmist is saying God is our shield. The exciting part here is that if this shield is made of highly polished metal, God would look upon our shield and see Himself.

This presents us with an interesting thought, King Solomon had 200 large shields and 300 smaller ones made of pure gold and kept them in his house.

“And King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.” 1 Kings 10:16-17.

While Solomon may merely have been trying to show his opulence, I believe Scripture recorded this for our benefit.

Gold in the Bible is often a type representing God, the golden candlestick, and the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle were pure gold, wood overlaid with pure gold in the case of the Ark, but gold.

Since Solomon’s shields were pure gold it would follow that they represented God as a shield in the house of King Solomon.

“O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed.” Psalm 84:9.

“…Do not be afraid, Abram [Abraham]. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1b.

God represents Himself as our shield often in Scripture. You may want to do a study on the subject.

“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:10-12.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield”, Jesus said:

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12.

He also said this:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

The Lord states that He is the light and also the truth; the world is in darkness because they do not know the truth.

Now truth has been defined as “things as they really are as revealed by God.” Christ is the truth because He is the revelation of things as they really are; He is the light because truth dispels darkness.

Jesus also said the following.

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your [God’s] word is truth.” John 17:17.

God is a sun because He brings light through His truth.

God is also a shield like no other; He is omnipotent; who is more powerful or more intelligent than our God?

There is a wonderful promise given by God to Abraham and it is open to all who will claim it.

“…Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1b.

We expect our exceedingly great reward to be in terms of wealth. Not surprisingly because our physical needs seem to be greater than our spiritual.

However, just because we do not suddenly become rich it does not mean that God is not living up to His promise.

Wealth can be measured in terms of health, savings in unexpected ways, hitting a sale just when you need it, missing out on an auto accident by seconds, not needing a new roof, and appliances lasting well beyond expectations.

But even more so God says, “I am…your exceedingly great reward”, God offers Himself to us, and there is no greater reward.

“No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11c.

There are two conditions here, no good thing, there are many things we think we need, but they may not all be good, regardless of how necessary they seem.

Many of us are grateful that some prayer of ours went unanswered, though they were offered up with many tears.

Another condition is that we walk uprightly. There are a great number of things that we do not receive simply because we knowingly walk in some sin or another.

We have to decide whether we value our sin more than blessings from God. God is no different from any of you parents; you cannot reward your children for wrongdoing.

Finally, just as it stated earlier in Psalm 84:5a.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You…” Psalm 84:5a.

It is also true of the one who trusts in God.

“O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:12.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39.

Psalm 84:5-12 taken from posted on 11-2-15, updated on 6-1-23.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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