Summer in the Psalms

Read: Psalm 84:1-12

Lord, My How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord of Armies.
I long and yearn
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.

Even a sparrow finds a home,
and a swallow, a nest for herself
where she places her young—
near your altars, Lord of Armies,
my King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in your house,
who praise you continually. Selah

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 spring water;
even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength;
each appears before God in Zion.

Lord God of Armies, hear my prayer;
listen, God of Jacob. Selah
Consider our shield, God;
look on the face of your anointed one.

10 Better a day in your courts
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than live in the tents of wicked people.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
he does not withhold the good
from those who live with integrity.
12 Happy is the person who trusts in you,
Lord of Armies!

Transformation Questions: 

  • The word “yearn” in verse 2 actually includes the concept of a loud cry, associated with pain. It is a “got to have it” type of cry. When is the last time you have had that kind of feeling in general? When is the last time that you had that feeling about God?
  • When C.S. Lewis reflected on this psalm, he talked about having an “appetite for God.” What does it look like to have an appetite for him?
  • Just as the psalmist is drawn to the temple, we also are called to worship God collectively. Why is corporate worship so important?
  • The valley of Baca can be translated as the “place of tears.” How can our difficult valleys be turned into springs of water, or highways to Zion? 
  • How have you seen God be your strength when you have traveled through difficult valleys in life?
  • Life is meant to be lived in community. How does journeying with other believers help us endure?
  • The psalmist is declaring he would rather be a servant to God than have freedom to do whatever he wanted. What is it that allows the psalmist to make this declaration?
  • Three times we see the psalmist call people happy or blessed (vv. 4, 5, and 12). What are the three things that make someone blessed, according to the psalmist?
  • How does it make you feel knowing that God doesn’t withhold any good thing from us?
  • How have you seen God provide for you in your life?