Monday, August 4, 2008

Psalm 84

This Psalm has always been among my favorites, but lately the Lord is making it even dearer to my heart. I've been listening to some teaching on this Psalm from the late Bible preacher & teacher, Dr. Ray Stedman, & it has certainly blessed my heart, & I wanted to share a snippet with you. This Psalm of course concerns the OT saint who greatly desires fellowship with God in the physical Jewish Temple. Yet they also knew that God was much bigger than the Temple & only in His grace did He choose to meet with them there. (1 Ki.8:27)
Dr. Stedman made the analogy of the OT Temple representing the believer's physical body today & how that the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us today! (1 Co.6:19-20). So, this Psalm is actually presenting the joys of fellowship with God in daily life for the believer! I especially like what he says concerning vv.5-6!
"Happy are the people whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a source of springwater; even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings." (HCSB) Only when we realize that our strength is only in God are we able to really enjoy life with God. He then related a true story that had happened that week, keeping in mind that Dr. Stedman went Home to be with the Lord in 1992. He said that a young man who was struggling with some great personal problems was under a great cloud of depression. He came to visit Dr. Stedman's church, & Dr. Jack Mitchell, also now with the Lord, was preaching a message uplifting the grace & forgiveness of God in Christ. At the end of the message someone overheard him say to a friend, "Oh, what a load of guilt has been lifted from my heart today!" This young man was so enthralled by Dr. Mitchell's message that he returned again that night for more. He made an appointment to speak further with an associate pastor, Dave Roper, about his problems & new hope in Christ. They were enjoying their talk together in the car while stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, a moving van ran the light & plowed into the car, instantly killing the boy, but hardly scratching brother Roper. They were all greatly stunned & saddened by this, since they were praying for him at that very time, but also they were thankful that the Lord had used Dr. Mitchell to make his valley of Weeping (Baca) a spring for God to bless him before he left this world! The Psalmist went on to pray in v.8 for God to make him that kind of man, & I so want that as well. But you know, I must admit to all of you dear brothers & sisters in Christ, that sometimes I fear what is necessary to make me like that. I want to be a blessing, but so often I don't want to experience what is necessary for it to come to pass.
Thanks for your prayers & for taking the time to read my ramblings! May the Lord bless you all as you serve Him today!