“HOW LOVELY are Your tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God. Yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young- even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed (happy, fortune, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all day long. Selah ( pause, and calmly think of that)! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills (the pools) with blessings. They go from strength to strength (increasing in victorious power); each of them appears before God in Zion………….”(Amplified Translation)
When reading this wonderful psalm I got into a quiet and reflective mood in the Presence of God. I felt the Lord drawing my attention to verse 3 “yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young-even Your altars, o lord of hosts, my king and my God” I wondered about the swallows – so I goggled. I learnt that a swallow will first find a structure where there is supply of mud close by. It will then carry mud and twigs in its beak making trip after trip. Then it carefully constructs its nest, with mud and twigs up against a wall. The thought then struck me, we use the expression “ up against the wall” to describe a place of inner struggle where we feel trapped or feel that we’ve run out of options, and have no place to run and no way out. Yet, this bird finds its safety up against a wall. It then dawned on me that a place for me, for us, spiritually that is the safest and most secure is also the place where we fill spiritually the weakest. Someone has recently given me a quote “going to the cross is going to the point where my will crosses God’s will” The cross is always the place where God’s will stands before me, the point where God will meet me- yes it’s the point I am spiritually weakest yet the point where he gives me His grace and strength in place of my weakness!
Spiritual storms, winds will blow into our lives, pulling us this way and that. We become like swallows tossed around by the wind. Most of the times, while in the face of wind’s danger, we know there is a place of safety in God, but still we don’t fly to that safe place in Him. Instead we fly away, resisting the wisdom that tells us to fly to Him. In our spirits we know that flying towards Him means we must first go to the cross. In God we find peace, safety, comfort, rest, but testing and discomfort are also part of the plan. And running towards the cross-though uncomfortable is exactly where we are going to find Him.
On our own, apart from the Lord, we don’t know how to build a nest that’s secure. We don’t know where our hiding place is a lot of times. Too often we wait until difficulty comes, and we frantically try to throw together a nest. Some of us even convince ourselves that we’re doing okay all on our own. What we’ve latched onto seems good, but there is a big problem: the nests of security we build out of what the world has to offer are not anchored. Security of our own-making grants us no real abiding place.
What we need is a place for our spirit that is solid and secure! God’s word is filled with assurances that He wants to be a shelter for us in times of trouble. He wants to be our rock (see Ps.92:15, Ps.28:1), our fortress (see Ps.18:10) and our strong tower (prov.18:10). These are all good images of places to where we can flee; run when danger has come upon us and need a temporary hiding place. Yet, these are not intended as places to live for a long time. What is so wonderful about the imagery in Psalm84, is that a nest is more then an emergency shelter. A nest is where we can live always. Here we can abide in peace when everything around us is being shaken or everything around us is still.
Tenderly Jesus is calling us to this place. Just as He called Apostle John (Rev.4:1) to “come up here” and as from the deep He called deeply and drew David’s panting, longing heart to His presence (Ps.42:7), so He is presently calling us to His secret place. Yes the sparrow has found a house, and swallow a nest for herself, David, John, Paul and so many others also found their rest at the Altars of the Lord. And now IT IS OUR TURN. Softly, tenderly, quietly He is calling us from the depths of His wonderful presence. Will we join Him in the secret place???
Posted on December 31st, 2010 by mrsmatara
Filed under: Psalms