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PSALM 84 – “How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

September 29,2020, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Psalm 84 rivals Paul’s letter to the Philippians as an expression of spiritual joy and devotion to the LORD.   How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place, LORD ALMIGHTY.”  For the New Testament Christian, we know that lovely place to be dwelling daily in His Presence and the joy of communion with Him as He dwells in each one of us.


We can say the Psalmist was longing for what you and I experience.  We experience the passion of His intercession birthed in this Psalm.


The Psalm is a song and many beautiful songs have been written from it.  I will teach it as a song and as a poem.   


My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God (84:2).


“How lovely is your dwelling place
Oh, Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings”

Rebecca St. JamesMatt Redman



We have the living God living within us and we live in Him.  Christ is us is our hope of Glory, but in Him we are in His Glory.  What a joyful testimony we have for the whole world.  It is joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Pet. 1:8).


84: 1-2 - T.P.T:  God of Heaven’s Armies, you find so much beauty in your people!  They’re like lovely sanctuaries of your presence.  So deep within me are these lovesick longings, desires and daydreams of living in union with you.  When I am near you my heart and my soul will sing and worship with my joyful songs of you, my true Source and Spring of life!


Some translations attribute this Psalm to the Sons of Korah.  David selected a number of the sons of Korah to preside over the music of the sanctuary, arrange tunes for the music; distribute the parts, and possibly furnish compositions for the services.  Whether they actually composed any of the psalms is uncertain.


I am teaching from N.I.V. and T.P.T.  However, I like the K.J.V. introduction to the Chief Musician.  I always address Jesus Christ as the Chief Musician of our Church.


H. F. Lyte (1793-1847) wrote a beautiful hymn from this Psalm:


Pleasant are Thy courts above,
In the land of light and love;
Pleasant are Thy courts below
In this land of sin and woe;
O, my spirit longs and faints
For the converse of Thy saints,
For the brightness of Thy face,
For Thy fullness, God of grace.


We can interpret this Psalm that a visitor to the autumn festival of Feast of Tabernacles testifies publicly of His joy of worshipping God in the temple at Jerusalem.  How I love your temple” is expressing his love and adoration for the presence of the LORD.  To worship there thrills his soul and satisfies a deep desire, for here he meets the living God in fellowship.  He feels a rapport with the very birds resting in God’s glory. 


Psa. 84:3 - N.I.V:  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, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.


Psa. 84: 3 - T.P.T.: O’ Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God, even the sparrows and swallows are welcome to build a nest among your altars for the birds to raise their young.


Happy birds that sing and fly
Round Thy altars, O most High;
Happier souls that find a rest
In a heavenly Father’s breast;
Like the wandering dove that found
No repose on earth around,
They can to their ark repair,
And enjoy it ever there.”

 (H.F. Lyte, Pleasant are thy courts above)


The Psalmist personal faith and reverence rings out.


“Teach me, my God and King, in all things Thee to see.” (George Herbert)


Psa.  84:4 - N.I.V.: Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.


Psa. 84:4 - T.P.T.: What pleasure fills those who live every day in your temple enjoying you as they worship in your presence.


It is not his privilege to be on the temple staff and give life-long praise.  But he enjoys another best which is not to be despised:  to rejoice that his heart is so full of praise and joy as He joyfully makes the journey to worship in the temple.  The roads in our heart on the journey of life lead us to Christ’s holy presence.


Church we have this continual joy which is what this pilgrim sought for with his whole being.  We are the temple of the Lord and even if we are not a singer, or worship leader, worship rises in us because we live every day in His presence.

“Happy souls, their praises flow
Even in this vale of woe;
Waters in the desert rise,
Manna feeds them from the skies;
On they go from strength to strength,
Till they reach Thy throne at length,
At Thy feet adoring fall,
Who hast led them safe through all”.

(H. F. Lyte, Pleasant are thy courts above)


Psa. 84:5-7 - N.I.V:  Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.


Psa. 84: 5-7 - T.P.T.: How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their heats are the highways of holiness!  Even when their path winds through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain.  He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring.  They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward until they find all their strength in you, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion.


As the pilgrim plods through the thirsty valley, the sun-scorched scenery in the late summer would be difficult to any ordinary traveler.  But for the pilgrim, he only sees the beauty and refreshment of God’s provision of which the world knows nothing.  In his heart, he relishes the prospect of communion with God in Zion. As he draws near the journeys end, he is not weary, but strengthened and energized by the Holy Spirit. 


The same is true for Christians, we do not find our journey of life weary, but we are strengthened and refreshed daily by the presence of the LORD.


Lord, be mine this prize to win,
Guide me through a world of sin,
Keep me by Thy saving grace,
Give me at Thy side a place;
Sun and shield alike Thou art,
Guide and guard my erring heart.
Grace and glory flow from Thee;
Shower, O shower them, Lord, on me

(H. F. Lyte, Pleasant are thy courts above)



Psa. 84:8-9 - N.I.V:  Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.  Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.


One commentator describes this as O’ Elohim, our shield. 


Psa. 84: 8-9 - T.P.T.: Hear my cry, O God of Heaven’s Armies!  God of Jacob, listen to my loving prayer.  God, your wrap-around presence is our defense.  In your kindness, look upon the faces of your anointed ones.


O Elohim of Jacob is God’s grace.  God’s smile on the king spelled prosperity for the nation.  Of course, our King, is King Jesus.  God’s continues to smile on Jesus and his Church.  Jerusalem housed both the temple and the palace.  Royalty and religion were twin channels of God’s purposes for His people.  Reverence for the divine King necessitated respect for His human representative, who reflected His protective power.  We should be faithful to pray this verse over ministers, our President and elected officials.


Psa. 84:10 -N.I.V.: 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.


Psa. 84:10 – T.P.T.:  For just one day of intimacy with you is like a thousand days of joy rolled into one!  I would rather stand at the threshold in front of the Gate Beautiful ready to go in and worship my God than to live my life without you in the most beautiful palace of the wicked.


The Psalmist has made his life choice for a joyful life.  He turns his back on the world’s wicked ways, tempting as they are, and willingly exchanges them for the pearl of worshipping his God.  He has found the fountain of true security and abundant blessing.  The key to this glorious presence is a life of moral integrity according to God’s plan for mankind.  What a privilege it is to commit one’s life to God Almighty. 


Psa. 84:11-12 – N.I.V.:  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.


Psa. 84: 11-12 – T.P.T.:  For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise!  Wrapping himself around me like a shield.  He is so generous with his gifts of grace and glory.  Those who walk along his paths with integrity will never lack one thing they need for he provides it all.  O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what euphoria fills those who forever trust in you!


Better Is One Day

Rebecca St. JamesMatt Redman

“How lovely is your dwelling place
Oh, Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings”

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere.”

One thing I ask and I would seek
To see Your beauty
To find You in the place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out
For You, the living God
Your Spirit's water to my soul
I've tasted and I've seen
Come once again to me
I will draw near to You
I will draw near to You


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from N.I.V. and T.P.T.  I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie C. Allen; Songs:  Better is One Day by Rebecca St. James and Matt Redman; Pleasant are thy courts above, H. F. Lyte; Teach me, my God and King, George Herbert.

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