This is) for the music leader.
(He must use) *Gittith.
(It is) a psalm for *Korah.
v1 *LORD of (*huge) armies
- people love your *temple very much!
v2 I want very much (to go to) the place where the *LORD lives.
(I want it so much) that it is making me feel weak!
All that I am and all that I feel is crying out to the Living God!
v3 Even the *sparrow has found a home
and the *swallow (has found) a *nest.
There she may keep her babies.
(They are in places) near your *altars,
*LORD of (*huge) armies.
You are my king and my God.
v4 The people that live in your house are very happy.
They can always tell you how great you are. *SELAH
v5 The people that you make strong are very happy.
They want to come to you (in Zion).
v6 As they pass through a dry valley,
it (seems) to become a place with wells of water in it.
The autumn rains cover (the valley) with pools.
v7 The people become stronger as they go,
(until) each one appears before God in Zion.
v8 *LORD God of (*huge) armies,
hear the words that I am praying!
God of *Jacob, listen to me! *SELAH
v9 God, look at our *shield!
And look kindly at the face of your king.
v10 One day in your (*temple) *courts
is better than a thousand (days somewhere else).
I would rather stand at the door of God’s house
than sit in the houses of *wicked people.
v11 For the *LORD is a sun and a *shield.
He gives *grace and *glory (to people).
He gives good things to people that do what is right.
v12 *LORD of (*huge) armies
- everybody is very happy that *trusts in you!
The Story of Psalm 84
We do not know who wrote Psalm 84. Some Bible students think that it was the same person that wrote Psalms 42 and 43. We call that person "the *psalmist". The *psalmist is far from the *Temple in Jerusalem. He wants to be one of the people that visit the *Temple. We call these people "*pilgrims". Even if he could be for one day in the *temple *courts, that would be better than a thousand days anywhere else!
*Korah was the name of a group that made music for the *temple. There are notes about *Korah before Psalm 73 in this series of psalms.
What Psalm 84 means
Study the psalm in 4 parts:
· Verses 1 - 4 tell us that many people love the *temple, including the *psalmist.
· Verses 5 - 7 tell us about *pilgrims to Zion.
· Verses 8 - 9 The *psalmist prays for the king.
· Verses 10 - 12 tell us about God.
In this psalm, there are several names for God, and several names for the *temple. The names of God include:
· *LORD of (*huge) armies. These armies are millions of *angels that live with God in *heaven. *LORD is the *covenant name of God. People that agree to love and obey him use it. The *Hebrew words for "*LORD of (very big) armies" are "*Yahweh *Sabaoth". Our translation keeps the word "*Sabaoth" in Psalm 80, but uses "(*huge) armies" here.
· Living God. This means that God will always be alive and that he makes everything else alive also.
· God of *Jacob. *Jacob is another name for Israel.
Other names for the *temple are:
· the place where the *LORD lives
· your house
· God’s house
The *psalmist says in verse 3 that small birds can live in the *temple. But the *psalmist is far away, verse 2. If it is the same *psalmist as in Psalms 42 and 43, then he is hundreds of kilometres away! When he thinks about it, it makes him feel weak. In verses 5 - 7, he tells us about the *pilgrims to Jerusalem. They may come on long journeys, but they really want to come to Zion. The "dry valley" in verse 4 is "Baca Valley" in *Hebrew. The Baca is a tree that lives in dry places. We do not know where this Baca Valley was. But the dry place did not stop the *pilgrims. They found water there, maybe the autumn rains. Christians have always believed that this verse means: when life is difficult, God will send help.
In verse 3, the *psalmist calls God his or her king. But in verses 8 and 9 the *psalmist prays for another king. It is the king of Israel that lives in Jerusalem. He calls this king "a *shield". The king stops other countries hurting his people. The word is not "king", but is "*messiah" in *Hebrew. It means "*anointed". "*Anointed" means "oil poured on". This is how they made kings long ago. All the Kings of Israel were *messiahs, but Jesus is the Great *Messiah! He is our king … if we *trust in him. Then we will be very happy, verse 12. Verse 11 does not say that God is the sun, but a sun. This means that God is *like a sun. He is not the sun that we see in the sky!
Something to do
1. Study Psalms 42 and 43 in this series.
2. Find all the different names for God in this Psalm.