If you visit the temple grounds in Jerusalem today, you will quickly sense the honor and respect for this site displayed both by visitors and local residents. It provides a hint of the reverence Israelites would have shown for the temple in Scripture. The temple is the place where God dwells among His people, which makes it holy. Therefore, much of the temple is inaccessible to everyone but priests. God gives detailed instructions, regulating who could enter each area of the temple. An average person could only get as close as the altar of burnt offering.
Psalm 84 reminds us of the joy found in God’s presence, and verse 10 contrasts the temple with the tents of wickedness. The psalmist states that he would rather be a doorkeeper in the temple than be invited inside the dwelling place of sin. A sinful lifestyle promises pleasure, satisfaction, and fulfillment but fails to deliver. One day spent in God’s presence is better than a thousand days spent anywhere else, and as verse 11 points out, God bestows favor (grace) on those who choose Him.
Deciding to choose God over wickedness is a decision we make every day. Cheating in class, cutting corners at work, or spreading rumors about a person who has mistreated you––all of these actions promise satisfaction but only deliver heartache. Choosing to be in the presence of God and to walk uprightly allows you to experience His grace. Today, be sure to choose Him.
Today, I will…read Psalm 43 along with Psalm 84 and reflect how much it means for a follower of God to come into His presence. How should this shape my attitude toward worship and personal devotionals?