Longing for God
The fact that all humans were created by God suggests that we all have an emptiness within us that can only be filled by God. Some of us, like the psalmist, have recognized our need for God. Though we live in our earthly home, we are convinced that it is in God that we have our home in this life and the next.
The psalmist expresses a deep longing and yearning for God, to be in the home of God, where God dwells. The writer proclaims that those who have their home in God are blessed and acknowledges God as almighty and king. The psalmist affirms entirely loyalty to God. Psalm 84 expresses both the psalmist’s longing for communion with God and the well-being that results from encountering God. It proclaims the good news that our destination, daily and eternally, lies in God. This good news contains the transforming power through which we find strength, value, and life itself.
The psalmist acknowledges that the pilgrims’ strength is in God. Even as they travel through harsh realities, the presence of God takes them from strength to strength. Like those early pilgrims, we too are on a lifelong journey, seeking to be at home with God. We must desire to live daily and eternally in the presence of God. Though our Christian journey can sometimes be difficult and full of tears, we can be assured that we are at home with God, who promises to be with us always. Though we encounter trials and temptations, we can trust that God’s strength is sufficient for us and that God’s grace makes us perfect. So, like the psalmist, we can rest assured that in God is our surest and safest place to be.
Give me a daily desire for you, O my God. Amen.
God had prevented David from building a temple in Jerusalem but then permitted David’s son Solomon to build it. In First Kings, Solomon places the ark of the covenant in the holiest place, and God’s presence descends. The psalmist rejoices in the Temple and would rather be in its courts than anywhere else because that is where God dwells. The New Testament readings remind us that the people of God have always met with resistance. The author of Ephesians compares living the Christian life to going into battle, so we must be prepared. Jesus also meets with resistance in John. His teachings are too hard for many to accept, so they abandon him. When we face resistance, therefore, we should not be surprised; but we are also not alone.
Read 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43. How does your faith inform the hospitality you show to friends? To strangers?
Read Psalm 84. How do you find joy in the Lord? Recall a recent time when you felt a deep sense of this joy.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20. How do truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and God’s word help you live boldly as an ambassador of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Read John 6:56-69. How do you respond to Jesus’ question: “Does this offend you?” This teaching was hard for his disciples. Where do you struggle with it?
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