How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7 They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. NLT
Look at verse 1: The “dwelling place” of this verse could be read in a few ways: 1) The original reference would have been to the Temple built in Jerusalem; 2) Jesus announced himself as the Temple; 3) Followers of Jesus are called the “Temple” of God. In what ways are each of these perspectives of the Lord’s dwelling place “lovely”?
Verse 2 refers to the courtyard of the Temple in Jerusalem. Why would the writer of this psalm feel this way?
Consider verses 3-4. What does the analogy of the birds have to do with the way the writer feels about the dwelling place of the Lord? What generational vision does the writer have in mind?
Look at verse 5. Would you consider yourself “strong in the Lord”? Why or why not?
::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::
Different translations call the valley mentioned in verse six either the Valley of Baca or the Valley of Weeping. Though there has been speculation about some desert valleys, there is no specific geographic location that is directly connected to this title. It has also generally been speculated that the word Baca, which means “to cry”, could refer to type a “weeping” Balsam tree that drips tears of sap. With these ideas in mind, what figurative pictures could the writer be trying to paint for the reader?
Now look at verse 7. Why would people grow stronger after going through the journey to reach the Temple?
::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::
How do these verses relate to your own desire to be in the Lord’s presence? What are you willing to go through in order to get “there”?