Psalm 84: Lessons for Leading a Life Full of God’s Blessings

Introduction: Here, the psalmist wrote a love psalm for God. He also proclaimed God’s blessings for those who devote their life to Him. This includes: (1) loving God, (2) faith in His salvation, (3) dependence, (4) prayer, (5) seeking His fellowship, (6) integrity, and (7) trust.

First, the psalmist declared his desire for the place where he could worship God out of love and appreciation with others. God blesses those who love Him and seek to worship Him. Second, the psalmist proclaimed that those who can dwell with God in His house are blessed. Those who seek Jesus in faith are blessed to dwell with Him for all eternity in heaven. Third, the psalmist also stated that persons who draw their strength from God are also blessed. God will bless those who depend upon Him. Fourth, the psalmist cried out for God to hear his prayer and be a shield to God’s people. God will also bless those who regularly seek Him in prayer. This includes being their shield of faith. Fifth, the psalmist further declared that “a day in Your courtyards is better than a thousand elsewhere.” This reflected his desire for God’s fellowship above anything else. God will also bless those who seek His fellowship through Jesus. Sixth, the psalmist also proclaimed that God “withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.” God will also bless those who live righteously. Finally, the psalmist revealed that those who trust in God are “blessed.” God will bless everyone who puts their trust in Him.

1. Love: God Blesses Those Who Love Him Enough to Worship Him. Ps. 84:1-2.

  • A love of God and a desire to worship Him brings His blessings. The descendant of the worship leader Korah yearned to be in the temple courtyard where the Jews were blessed to worship God. “For the music director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, Lord of armies! My soul longed and even yearned for the courtyards of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Ps. 84:1-2). As one commentator observes, “This speaks to those who are leaders in God’s house today. More than offering programs, social connections, entertainment, excitement, or self-improvement, they must make places and meetings in which people meet the living God. This speaks to all who come to the house of God today. They must come without primary focus upon programs, social connections, entertainment, excitement, or self-improvement; they must come with the primary focus and expectation of meeting with the living God. The emphasis on meeting the living God prevents regarding the tabernacle or temple in the wrong way. The temple as a place could be viewed incorrectly (as in Acts 7:487:54). The psalmist considers it here in its best sense: the place to meet with the living God.” (David Guzik on Ps. 84).1

  • A desire to worship stems from a love of God. The famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892 A.D.) called Psalm 84 the “Pearl of Psalms.” “There was no superstition in this love. He loved the house of God because he loved the God of the house. His heart and flesh cried out, not for the altar and the candlestick, but for his God.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 84).2 The Shema, the Jewish call to worship, required that the Jews follow God’s law as an act of love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:5). In Hebrew, the reference to a person’s “heart” also includes their “mind.” (e.g., Zech. 8:17; Dt. 9:4; 2 Sam. 13:33; 2 Kgs. 23:25; Esther 4:13; Is. 10:7).  Centuries later, a Pharisee lawyer sought to test Jesus.  He asked Jesus to name the greatest of the Ten Commandments (Matt. 22:34).  Jesus responded by quoting the second verse of the Shema.  Yet, because the word “heart” in Greek does not include the word “mind,” He added the word “mind” when He stated the greatest commandment:  “You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and all your soul and with all your mind.”  (Matt. 22:35-38; Mk. 12:29-30; Lk. 10:27; Ex. 20:1-8).  If you love God, you will want to keep His commandments out of love and not obligation: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”  (1 Jo. 5:3).  If you love God, you will also want to worship Him out of love and not obligation.

  • Your love for God should stem from your appreciation for His mercy and grace. A descendant of Korah wrote this psalm of love for God (Ps. 84:1). This was most likely because he had a deep appreciation for God’s mercy and grace. Korah was the grandson of Kohath and a descendant of Levi  (Nu. 16:1).  God had given his clan the honor to protect and carry “the most holy things,” which included the ark  (Nu. 4:4).  Korah’s specific duties included conducting “the service of the tabernacle” and ministering to the congregation  (Nu. 16:9).  The choir directions to “the sons of Korah” in the psalms also establishes that Korah’s clan led the worship services while Aaron and his sons performed the sacrifices  (Ps. 42-49, 84, 85, 87, 88). But Korah, whose name means “ice,” felt a lack of recognition.  Thus, he and others “took action” against Moses to seize power from him (Nu. 16:1).  By coveting Moses’ power, Korah violated the Tenth Commandment (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21).  His “coveting” also disqualified him from inheriting the kingdom of God  (1 Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:3-6). Korah and others then incited the 250 leaders by openly speaking out against Moses  (Nu. 16:3, 13-14). His actions led to his death, the deaths of his coconspirators, the 250 men of renown, and then 14,700 people who joined in the rebellion (Nu. 16:15-50). The descendants of Korah knew that their family line had no right to lead worship after Korah’s rebellion. This meant that they appreciated His mercy and grace and loved God for their undesired gifts. When Jewish kings led revivals involving worship, the descendants of Korah were at the forefront of the revival, leading others with worship music (e.g., 2 Chr. 20:19). If you truly understand His mercy and grace, you will also seek to worship Jesus out of love.

  • Before knowing the outcome of his trials, David turned to God in praise and worship. Trials can cause anxiety and depression. But these feelings come from focusing on yourself and how powerless you feel in the face of your trial. When you keep your eyes on Jesus with worship, you give Him your burdens. He then blesses you with peace. Even while his trials were ongoing, David praised God with gratitude and worshiped Him: “But as for me, I will sing of Your strength; yes, I will joyfully sing of Your faithfulness in the morning, for You have been my refuge and a place of refuge on the day of my distress. My strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my refuge, the God who shows me favor.” (Ps. 59:16-17). From this point until Saul’s death, David would be forced to live as a fugitive from both Israel’s army and the Philistines. But even in his darkest hours, David found peace by taking his eyes off himself and praising God. “For the music director. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day that the LORD rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said, ‘I love You, LORD, my strength.”’ (Ps. 18:1). Even in your darkest hour, you can find peace by praising God.

  • Be thankful in all things. Whenever God answered David, he gave thanks “Blessed be the LORD, because He has heard the sound of my pleading.” (Ps. 28:6). “But God has heard; He has given attention to the sound of my prayer.” (Ps. 66:19). “Lord, open my lips, so that my mouth may declare Your praise.” (Ps. 51:15). “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” (Ps. 104:33). “Let my lips pour out praise, for You teach me Your statutes.” (Ps. 119:171). “I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” (Ps. 146:2). When God answers your prayers, there are many psalms to remind you to give Him the credit. If you fail to make a habit of thanking Him, you may take Him for granted. Even in times when he was jailed and persecuted, Paul worshiped God and gave thanks: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;” (Eph. 5:20). Giving thanks can also remind you of His faithfulness.

2. Faith in Salvation: God Blesses Those With the Faith to Seek Eternal Salvation Through Jesus Christ, to Dwell With Him in Heaven. Ps. 84:3-4.

  • Those who seek eternal salvation and the right to dwell with God forever are blessed. The psalmist proclaimed the blessing for those who seek to dwell forever in God’s house. “The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may put her young: Your altars, Lord of armies, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah” (Ps. 84:3-4). “The general meaning of the figure in this place seems to be, ‘If even birds love to build their nests, as they do, in the sacred precincts, how much more reason has the believing heart to find its home in the house of its God!”’ (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 84:3).3

  • David praised God for making it possible to dwell in His presence. Although David knew that sinners cannot be in God’s holy presence, he had faith that God would provide a way for sinners like him to one day dwell forever in His holy presence: “Blessed is the one You choose and allow to approach You; He will dwell in Your courtyards. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.” (Ps. 65:4). “Salvation belongs to the LORD; may Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah” (Ps. 3:8). “But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.” (Ps. 37:39). “For the music director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul waits in silence for God alone; from Him comes my salvation.” (Ps. 62:1).

  • Out of love, Jesus died on the cross so that everyone might find eternal life.  David had the faith to know that he could live with God “forever”  (e.g., Ps. 61:4; 23:6).  Out of love, God sent Jesus to die on the cross to allow all who believe to have eternal life:  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16).  Salvation is only possible through Him: “I, only I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides Me.” (Is. 43:11). “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,’”  (Jo. 11:25-26; 14:19).  You cannot earn eternal life through your works.  His gift is free:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Ro. 6:23).  Your faith alone can bring you the blessing of Jesus’ eternal fellowship:  “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Cor. 1:9). 

  • Seek out what Jesus offers, and He will bless you. Paul states that words cannot describe the beauty that awaits believers in heaven: “but just as it is written: ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, which have not entered the human heart, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9). Charles Spurgeon therefore argues that believers should follow the wisdom of the lowly sparrow: “You and I, dear friends, will be wise if we do as this sparrow did; for she found a house for herself because she looked for it, she found it because it was there all ready for her, and she found it by appropriating it so that it became her very own. Thus may we appropriate the Lord Jesus Christ, by an act of faith, and so make him our very own!” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 84).4

3. Dependence: God Blesses Those Who Depend Upon Him. Ps. 84:5-7.

  • Those who depend upon God for their strength will be blessed. The psalmist declared the blessing for those who seek out God’s presence and receive their strength from Him. “Blessed is the person whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the roads to Zion! Passing through the Valley of Baca they make it a spring; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.” (Ps. 84:5-7). The word “Baca” is translated as “weeping.”5 Thus, this was a painful journey for the psalmist to be with God: “The desired destination is Yahweh’s presence (84:1-4 [MT 84:2-5]), and the means to get there is Yahweh’s strength (84:5-8 [MT 84:6-9]). Blessed are those who go this way (84:5 [MT 84:6), and blessed are those whose ongoing experience is the praise of God (84:4 [MT 84:5]). . . Psalm 84 testifies to the nexus between the pilgrimage to Zion at the feasts, the enjoyment of God’s presence at the temple, the hope for the future king from David’s line, and the fulfillment of all God’s promises.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) pgs. 101, 3-4).

  • God will bless those who humble themselves before Him. God will bless those who find their strength in Him: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt, 5:5) (NKJV). “But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” (Ps. 37:11). “LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will make Your ear attentive.” (Ps. 10:17). “For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.” (Ps. 9:18). “The LORD is their strength, and He is a refuge of salvation to His anointed.” (Ps. 28:8). “The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.” (Ps. 29:11). “He gives strength to the weary, and to the one who lacks might He increases power.” (Is. 40:29). “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7).

  • David declared that he would find refuge in God’s great power. At a time when he was under attack, David knew that he could depend upon God to protect and strengthen him: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I will not be greatly shaken. . . . He alone is my rock and my salvation, My refuge; I will not be shaken.” (Ps. 62:2,6). “So have I seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and glory.” (Ps. 63:2). When you are under attack, turn to God and find a refuge in Him that cannot be shaken.

  • When you depend upon God, He will also refresh your soul. God also offers the blessing of spiritual renewal when you depend upon God: “For I give plenty of water to the weary ones, and refresh everyone who languishes.” (Jer. 31:25). “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28).

4. Prayer: God Blesses Those Who Regularly Seek Him in Prayer. Ps. 84:8-9.

  • Those who commit to a prayer relationship are also blessed. The psalmist could see God’s protection through his answered prayers. “Lord God of armies, hear my prayer; listen, God of Jacob! Selah See our shield, God, and look at the face of Your anointed.” (Ps. 84:8-9). The “anointed” one pointed to the power of prayer to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. “The truly devout long to go pray in the sanctuary of the Lord where they realize His powerful presence through the manifestation of His grace and glory. The Lord makes His presence known in many places, but where the people of God assemble to worship His presence may be more keenly felt.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 765) (italics original).

  • God will answer your prayers according to His will and timing. David also wanted God to lead him through prayer from God’s holy temple: “Send out Your light and Your truth, they shall lead me; they shall bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.” (Ps. 43:3). David also proclaimed that God heard his prayers from the temple: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” (Ps. 18:6). David also praised God as his Shepherd, who would always provide for his needs: “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I will not be in need.” (Ps. 23:1). “Fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no lack of anything. The young lions do without and suffer hunger; but they who seek the LORD will not lack any good thing.” (Ps. 34:9-10). “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and He has filled the hungry soul with what is good.” (Ps. 107:9). Jesus will also provide for you: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). He hears your prayers. He is faithful to respond to your prayers (Jam. 5:16). But He will answer your prayers according to His will and according to His timing.

  • God is also a shield to those who pray for His refuge.  The psalmist prayed for God to be “our shield,” (Ps. 84:9). David also praised God as his “shield”:  “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps. 18:2). “He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”  (2 Sam. 22:31).  “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”  (Ps. 3:3).  “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12). Solomon also called God his shield:  “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”  (Prov. 30:5).  When you cry out to God in prayer and make Him your refuge, He is faithful to be your shield against the evil one.

  • Jesus will also give wisdom when you seek Him in prayer.  If you diligently seek Jesus’ will in prayer, He also promises to give you wisdom:  “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  (Jam. 1:5; Ps. 51:6; Prov. 2:6).  If you have any important decisions to make, are you seeking Jesus’ blessings of wisdom and His direction in all that you do?

5. Seeking Fellowship: God Blesses Those Who Seek His Fellowship. Ps. 84:10.

  • Those who are in fellowship with God have the greatest of all His blessings. The psalmist proclaimed that one moment of God’s fellowship was better than a lifetime on Earth: “10 For a day in Your courtyards is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps. 84:10). The blessing of God’s fellowship is greater than any physical blessing. One author observes: “Of the New Testament’s 112 references to being blessed, do you know how many focus on material things? Zero.” (Matt Smethurst on Ps. 84).6

Even in Heaven, the angels of God remember you with joy - Evangelical Endtimemachine

One day in Jesus’ presence in heaven will be better than a 1,000 days anywhere else7

  • Jesus also desires your fellowship. Merely accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not enough to be in fellowship with Him. There are plenty of people who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior but then make no effort to walk with Him.  Your faith should be accompanied by a willingness to accept Jesus’ invitation for a deeper relationship. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20).  Are you accepting Jesus’ invitation for His blessing of fellowship?

  • Those who desire to be in God’s holy presence will be blessed. When Joshua led the Jews into the Promised Land, the Gibeonites pretended to be refugees from a foreign land. They deceived the Jews and tricked them into sparing their lives (Josh. 9:1-18). They paid for their deceit by being forced to serve as lowly woodcutters and water carriers (Josh. 9:19-21).  Being a wood cutter and a water carrier was the most menial service available.  Under God’s law, these were tasks frequently given to aliens living within the Promised Land (Dt. 29:11). As servants, they worked within God’s outer courtyard of the tabernacle before the Jews built the temple in Jerusalem.  They did the tasks that no one wanted to do.  But King Saul later killed many of these faithful servants (2 Sam. 21:1-14). They nevertheless felt blessed to work within God’s temple as servants (Ps. 84:10).  Thus, they did not complain about their punishment. Indeed, they remained faithful servants. Centuries later, they were among the few who decided to return to Israel to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah’s leadership (Neh. 3:7).

  • If fellowship with God is your greatest desire, He will fulfill your desires. The sons of Korah also declared a longing for God’s presence in a prior psalm: “A Maskil of the sons of Korah. 1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1-2). David also declared that his greatest desire was to be in God’s presence in His temple: “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” (Ps. 27:4). “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and exhausted land where there is no water.” (Ps. 63:1). If fellowship with God is your greatest desire, He will fulfill your heart’s desires “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4).

6. Integrity: God Blesses Those Who Live With Integrity. Ps. 84:11.

  • God will bless those who seek His righteousness and walk with integrity. The psalmist proclaimed that God will not withhold any good thing from those who live with godly integrity: “11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.” (Ps. 84:11). Your integrity and righteousness should be the fruit of your faith and your love for God: “Turn from evil and do good, so that you will dwell forever.” (Ps. 37:27). “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Ps. 34:14). “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, obtain justice for the orphan, plead for the widow’s case.” (Is. 1:17; Jam. 1:27). “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does what is good is of God; the one who does what is evil has not seen God.” (2 Jo. 1:11).

2 Timothy 2:15 Truth: Verse of the Day: Psalm 84:11 KJV

God will bless those who live with integrity and righteousness8

  • Live according to God’s righteousness, and He will bless you. Although salvation is not based upon your works, God will bless those who seek His righteousness and live in integrity: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6). “For You bless the righteous person, LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12). “Fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no lack of anything.” (Ps. 34:9). “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry for help and save them.” (Ps. 145:19). “What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.” (Prov. 10:24). “One who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness, and honor.” (Prov. 21:21). “for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1Tim. 4:8). Are you giving God reasons to bless you?

  • God’s blessings are based upon faith, not works. The psalmist stated that “the Lord gives grace and glory;” (Ps. 84:11). But Paul explained that this is based upon faith: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God.” (Ro. 5:1-2).

7. Trust: God Blesses Those Who Put Their Trust in Him. Ps. 84:12.

  • God will bless those who put their trust in Him. The psalmist concluded with a prophetic proclamation that God will bless those who chooses to put their trust in Him: “12 Lord of armies, blessed is the person who trusts in You!” (Ps. 84:12). Trusting in God means that you depend upon Him and not yourself for your needs. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5). It also means that you accept that He has a better plan for you than you could plan on your own (Ro. 8:28).

Psalm 84:12

God blesses those who trust in Him9

  • Trust in God, and He will bless you. God repeatedly promises to bless those who trust in Him: “How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who become involved in falsehood.” (Ps. 40:4). “One who pays attention to the word will find good, and blessed is one who trusts in the LORD.” (Prov. 16:20). “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD.” (Jer. 17:7). If you commit yourself to trusting Him, He will be faithful to bless you: “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Ps. 37:5).

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