Linda Heyes - Psalm 84 - Early Australian Convention

David said in Psalm 84:1, "How amiable are thy tabernacles, 0 LORD of hosts."

David had evidently been seeing some of the dwelling places of the Lord of Hosts, and he felt very touched.  When we see the courage, the kindness, the unselfishness, the humility, the love, and the mercy of the people of God, they really seem life to us. By beholding these wonderful fruits in the children of God, I have been touched, and desire to be a better dwelling place for God.  It is only the grace and power of God that can make us such dwelling places.  David was moved to seek the Lord, and he was moved very mightily and he said, "My soul longeth yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."  I like to think of this being the language of a king.  In spite of all he possessed naturally, He could not find that something within himself or within his kingdom.  It could only be found in the Lord's presence.

Have you ever felt this intense yearning after God?  I noticed that David did not have a picture of the people of God, but he had a vision of his great God.  Four times in this Psalm he speaks of the Lord of Hosts.  I like the way he speaks of God in this psalm:  the living God; my God; The God of Jacob.  This Sunday, may we see Him as this mighty One, this One able to give the victory to you and me.  Seek him with thy whole heart.  David sees the little things in the court of God.  He says, "Yea the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my king, my God."  We think of the sparrows as some of the smallest objects of Gods love.  The swallows are restless little things.  We who were so restless have found a resting place in the fold of God.  We have not found this without the sacrifice of God and of others.

I feel indebted to God that I have found a place in His Kingdom.  He not only saw those who had come into the fold of God, but he saw it was because of sacrifice. He saw an altar.  In the furnishings of the temple, there were two altars, one a brazen altar, and the other, a little golden altar upon which incense was offered. But the thing that impressed me much was the molten sea that was made and placed upon the twelve oxen.  Three oxen looked towards the north, three towards the south, three to the east and three to the west.  They were all looking towards the four corners of the earth.  The sea contained from 16 to 40 gallons of water.  It was made expressly for the priests to wash in.

To me, it speaks of the great sacrifice made by Christ for the whole world. There was lily work around the brim of it, that would speak of purity.  It is so easy for us to put a limit on the cleansing and forgiveness of God.  It is so easy for us to measure God's greatness by our finite minds, but we could never do it.  The better I get to know God, the more I see our smallness to grasp the greatness of God, the more I see the goodness of God, that you and I might serve Him acceptably.  I was reminded as I came into the meeting, of the attitude of Christ towards His people. It was said of Christ, "A bruised reed shall He not break, and a smoking flax shall He not quench."  Some who have come here tonight feel like smoking flax or a bruised reed.  Well, God is able to repair.  God is able to renew and make you like He would like you to be.

I was reading of the uses of the reed.  Sometimes it was used in making rods, in making a staff, and you know that God would like you to be a support to others. Everyone needs help, and perhaps at times they need help and support from you more than at other times.  We can be a support in the Kingdom of God. Sometimes reeds were used for measuring sticks.  We have been greatly privileged in that we can come into contact with men and women who knew not God.  As we associate with them, and have opportunities of speaking to them, perhaps they can compare their experiences with ours.  They can compare their knowledge of God with ours.  Would it not be good if, as they measure their experience with ours, that they can see that they don’t know God in the way that we know Him?

Sometimes reeds were used for parchment.  God wants to use you as parchment that others might read, that they may see that you have a power in your life that keeps you free from this present evil world, that you have a satisfaction that the world has never been able to give you, that you have peace.  Would it not be good if others could read some of those things in your life?  Sometimes the reeds were used as pens, pens to write with.  As I was thinking of the different uses of the reeds, I thought of the shepherds when they were minding their sheep, they would pick a reed because they wanted to make music with it, but if it were bruised, they would throw it away.

But I thought God would work upon that reed so that it would be able to make music that would gladden Him.  He wants to renew us and repair us so that we might be useful to Him in the world.  A smoking flax will he not quench.  A smoking flax is not very nice.  We might be tempted to put that smoking flax out completely, but God would like to renew and trim the wick.  The Lord wants to replenish us, that we might go out into the world to be a bright light for Him in the dark, evil world.  We heard this morning about the Lord being our strength.  It is not very long that we go on in this journey before we find we must get our strength.  We might get help from others, but the Lord wills that we should rely on and get our strength from Him.

Psalm 84:5, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them."  We could have our hearts wrapped up in anything better than the highways of Zion.  If we have our hearts divided, we shall find that our hearts are not satisfied.  We are not putting much into the things of God and therefore we are getting very little out of it.  As I read this a little while ago, I enjoyed it.  It speaks of our journey:  who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.  The valley of Baca would speak of the valley of misery, of weeping.

We all pass through very unpleasant times, times which cause us to weep, but I am glad to say we don’t stay there, but pass through them.  God will not lose His hold on us even though we pass through valley experiences.  He wants to deepen His work in our lives.  Verse 7,  "They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God."  It is God's purpose that we should grow. Coming into this place reminded me of a privilege thirteen years ago when I was here for a day's meetings.  Many here have gone from strength to strength.  They have passed through experiences that have led them to know God better.  I thought we have passed along this pathway feeling very unsafe, but we are glad of all we have experienced through the years.  We were satisfied that He wanted to make us strong.  The difficulties and crosses often make us strong.  We don’t want to envy those who have a crossless life.  The more cross we have, the more sympathy we shall have for those who pass through difficult experiences.

Verses 8-9, "Give ear, O God of Jacob, for a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand."  I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.  I believe we would rather be here today than in any other place.  We are all here by choice.  You are where you are by choice, living in your home, doing your duties, whether at home or at work.  This power of preference is a very responsible one.  We are privileged to be where we are today. We could be out in the world today, but we would rather be in the fold of God enjoying His privileges.  We would rather fear God rather than man, like that servant of old who said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Today we would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.  We do realize that we have the power to choose.  Some might choose a course that would bring them immeasurable joy.  When I read over this psalm, I felt that the way we can be useful and happy is by learning to come into the courts of the Lord, learning to value His friendship and fellowship.

David said in verse 11, “For the LORD is a sun and a shield...”   The Lord was a lot to David.  When you think of what the sun is to the earth, we think of warmth, light, and life.  The Lord is a sun.  Is He anything like a sun to you?  Do you get warmth, and power and light from Him?  I truly would like to know the Lord better as a sun and shield.  The Lord would like to protect us.

Verse 11, "No good thing will He hold from them that walk uprightly."  When we meditate a little upon all that God has bestowed upon us, we can say that, "No good thing will He withhold from us."  It was Solomon who gave us the exhortation that says, "In the morning, sow thy seed, and in the evening, withhold not thine hand."  That is because we do not know what the results will be.

In the morning means in thy youth.  Dont be afraid to sow the spirit of God.  I feel glad that God found me in my youth.  Although I started out feeling very weak, I feel glad for every time I sought to follow the path of love and peace.  As we grow older, God doesn’t want us to withhold.  I thought of the evening time coming. Many are weary in the evening.  God wants us to continually sow because we never know how far-reaching the result of our sowing might be. Withhold not in the morning or in the evening.  Blessed is the man who trusteth in Thee.  The man who was dwelling in the presence of the Lord was happy.  As we have found the road to happiness, I trust we shall ever be found traveling in this pathway, trusting in God who has ample provision for your need and mine, whatever it might be.