“A Place Near Your Altars, O Lord of Hosts”

Psalm 84 v3 (NIV)

As the sons of Korah made their way to the Temple they looked forward to the moment of arrival. Their anticipation is infectious. It was either their annual pilgrimage or to take their turn as ‘Gatekeepers’ in the Temple courts. Whatever the occasion, they were filled with joy as they prepared their hearts for their entry and involvement in, what was for them, God’s dwelling place. A place where they too would feel ‘at home’. A place of praise and of worship and also a place of sacrifice and of prayer. A place too of security and of comfort.

It was a place of natural beauty as well as being filled with the presence of God (to get an idea of what it was like read 1 Kings chapters 7-8). It wasn’t a particularly quiet place either. Trumpets would sound, cymbals would clash and voices would be raised in spiritual song.

It is quite a thought, that with all that beauty and all that activity, the Sons of Korah would notice that “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”. But they did notice and made it part of their song.

Sparrows and swallows; low flyers and high flyers, both small and significant, enjoying the same access, the same liberty and the same security. The song goes on and in verse four it links the sparrows and the swallows with the people. “Blessed are those who dwell in your house, they will still be praising you O Lord of Hosts”.

The same joy, liberty and security enjoyed by the sparrows and the swallows can be enjoyed by us. As children of God, we have a place near his altar. With different personalities and levels of experience, we all have the same privilege of finding a ‘home’ for ourselves, “even your altars O Lord of Host”.

In Christ we have “a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands” Hebrews 9 v11. For us, the Altar has become the “throne of Grace” to which we can come “boldly to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” Hebrews 4 v16.

Sparrow or swallow – you are of value to Him. He is your dwelling place and you are his. Be blessed and encouraged as you praise him with all your heart.

May joy, liberty and security be yours.


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