A Song of Worship

KEY VERSE: “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” —Psalm 84:2


THE WORSHIP OF God by the nation of Israel often included the use of songs. The Book of Psalms is a collection of such songs of worship written by David, and others. They not only expressed reverence for God in words, but were accompanied by beautiful music. The 84th Psalm was dedicated ‘to the chief musician upon the gittith’, and was a psalm for the Sons of Korah. The gittith was adopted by Israel to make music for their psalms, and was manufactured in Gath.

The sons of Korah were descended from Levi through Kohath, and, together with other Levites, were given the service of song. After the genealogy of these is outlined in I Chronicles 6:31,32, we read: “These are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after that the Ark had rest. And they ministered before the dwelling place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.”

The hymns we sing today are intended to express our devotion and love for God. Our key text relates the deep desire which every true child of God has to assemble with others of like precious faith for worship. The psalm begins with the words: “How amiable [lovely] are thy tabernacles [dwelling places] O Lord [Jehovah] of Hosts.” We are reminded of the Apostle Paul’s beautiful illustration, “Ye are the temple of the living God.” (II Cor. 6:16) Thus, every loyal, consecrated heart is a dwelling place of God, and the church of Christ which is being selected during the Gospel Age, will be the great temple of the future age.

We are not surprised, therefore, that there should be a longing on the part of every true child of God to seek the manifestation of divine favor by assembling with others who evidence this same devotion to God. Psalm 84:3 gives an illustration of the joy of worshiping together, as found in nature. The Lesser Translation renders this with clarity. We read: “Even as the sparrow hath found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, (so have I found) thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king, my God.”

We are reminded of the Brazen Altar in the Court of the ancient Jewish Tabernacle, and the great sacrifice which Jesus made thereon, pictured by the bullock. This elicits from us praise for God. And we recall the Golden Altar in the Holy, where we are also pictured as having a share with Jesus in our joint sacrifice.

There are many beautiful sentiments expressed in this psalm. One of the better known is in verse 10: “A day in thy courts is better than a thousand [elsewhere]. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” How true we know it to be, that it is better to have a humble service in God’s house, than a prominent service in this present evil world.

The last two verses of this psalm were the inspiration for a beautiful hymn, “The Lord, A Sun and Shield.” The first verse reads:

“Sun of my soul, my Father dear,
I know no night when thou art near.
O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant’s eyes.”
Hymns of Dawn, #273

This, indeed, is a song of worship which expresses the heartfelt sentiments of the faithful children of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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