01 Mar 2015

How lovely is Your dwelling place O’ LORD, almighty!

This is the opening verse of Psalm 84. Unlike the majority of the Psalms that are attributed to the pen of King David, this Psalm was penned by the sons of Korah. In various Old Testament passages, the Korahites or the Korahite families are counted like the other Levitical families.

This is the opening verse of Psalm 84. Unlike the majority of the Psalms that are attributed to the pen of King David, this Psalm was penned by the sons of Korah. In various Old Testament passages, the Korahites or the Korahite families are counted like the other Levitical families. The Levites were the descendents of the Tribe of Levi, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. In I Chronicles 12:6, we have an account of 5 men who are designated as “the Korahites,” who joined David when he was at Ziklag. They were Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam. They are described as expert warriors, e.g. the mighty men of David, especially with the bow and sling, and as being “of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.” These Korahites may have been cousins of the Samuel family, and they may have resided not very far apart.

Aside from their designation as soldiers in the service of King David, these same fighting Korahites who claimed succession from Moses to Nehemiah are the “sons of Korah,” who were somehow connected with the service of song. One of the genealogies is introduced by the statement:

These are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of Yahweh, after that the ark had rest. And they ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of Yahweh in Jerus, I Chron. 6:31-32.

The record speaks with some emphasis of a line of Korahites doorkeepers reminding us of the verse in Psalm 84 that was attributed to the sons of Korah, For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness, Ps. 84:10.

We are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we place our faith (the saving faith we received as a gift of God’s grace, Eph. 2:8-9) in His Messiah. Forgiveness, everlasting life, eternal communion with our Creator far exceeds anything the Old Testament saints understood or experienced. Yet, because of God’s promises, they knew that just one day in God’s presence would exceed years of living apart from Him.



March 8, 2015 – My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God



King David was himself, a musician. He was a prolific songwriter (the Psalms were songs that were meant to be sung in the Temple worship services) and he no doubt would have sung songs along with his mighty men, I Chron. 15:17-18; II Chron. 20:14, 19.

How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints. For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God, Ps. 84:1-2.

The sons of Korah are calling the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, lovely. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was the original meeting place where the children of Israel were to appear before their God. It was built to very specific plans that are outlined in the book of Exodus, Ex. 25:1-40:38 (see addendum attached). These believers were desiring to have God in their lives, hence the term “cries out for the living God.”

This is a replica of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. The outer courtyard contained the Bronze Laver and the Altar for the Burnt Offerings. The Holy Place was under the Tabernacle tent made of animal skins. The presence of the Lord was indicated by the pillar of cloud by day that became a pillar of fire at night.

Even the sparrow has found a home, 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 are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah, Ps. 84:3-4.

This is of particular interest, because it reminds us that God cares for even the small and seemingly insignificant creatures of His creation. It also reminds us that the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords humbled Himself during the incarnation. In this sense, He was homeless, without a place to rest His head, Matt. 8:20, but He promised us that we would be cared for by His heavenly Father,   Matt. 6:25-29. These Psalmists know what it is to sing praises to HaShem in His Temple and what a blessing it is to have God in your life.



March 15, 2015 – But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come



But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, Heb. 9:11.

The layout of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness became the pattern for both Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple that followed. We are told by the writer of the letter to the first century AD Hebrew Christians that the Tabernacle and Temples were actually replicas of God’s heavenly throne room, Heb. 9:23-24.

All that we have been given, the fact that we are blessed with all spiritual blessing in heavenly realms, can only be realized when we are found “in Christ.” The theme of Paul’s letter to the believers at Ephesus is that our entrance into the New Covenant by grace through faith, Eph. 2:8-9, is fully realized by our identity as new creations in Christ, II Cor. 5:17.

The final area of the Tabernacle as well as the Temples that followed is the Holy of Holies. This is the chamber beyond the Holy Place. It is here where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, covered by the Mercy Seat.

God told the Children of Israel that He would meet them at the Mercy Seat, Ex. 25:22. Only the High Priest could venture into the Holy of Holies, Lev. 16:1-2, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Lev. 16:1-34.

There was a huge curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies and the Mercy Seat contained therein. We are told that when Yeshua gave His final cry, Matt. 27:50-51. the veil in the Temple was torn, from the top to the bottom. It is as if the finger of God reached down and tore the barrier between sinful man and a Holy God wide open.



March 22, 2015 – Blessed is the man whose strength is in You



Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion,
Ps, 84:5-7.

Here again we read the word “blessed.” It is a major theme of the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5:1-7:27. It has the connotation that to be biblically blessed is to be happy in the Lord. It is different from joy, because true joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23. It is also different from worldly happiness that is totally linked to happenstance. Note also that this happiness is linked to our strength being in the Lord. He is the source of our strength and a mind that is abiding in His Word (the living Word, Yeshua, through the written Word, the Logos) derives supernatural strength from the indwelling Holy Spirit, Is. 40:31.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed, Ps. 84:8-9.

Here we have an amazing truth. Old Testament saints were always looking forward to the coming of the Messiah (God’s anointed). He is the source of our protection, God revealed Himself to Abraham during a restatement of the Abrahamic Covenant, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward,” Gen. 15:1. Here these Tabernacle/Temple ministers desire to see the Messiah, face to face. Old Testament saints were saved by grace through faith while looking forward in faith to Messiah’s appearing. New Testament saints are saved the very same way, but we are looking back at Calvary after having experienced the benefits of the New Covenant, Jer. 31:31-37; Ez. 36:26-27; John 3:3.

 
March 29, 2015 – For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly, O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You! Ps. 84:10-12

This Psalm ends with the great truth that all who place their faith in the God of Israel will be blessed. What greater blessing is there than being created as new creatures in Christ who are given the righteousness of Messiah as a gift, II Cor. 5:17-21. King David said it eloquently:

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit, Ps. 32:1-2.

If for no other reason than the Messiah died for our sins and rose again from the dead to prove that we have been justified in the sight of a Holy God, we should be rejoicing every day of our lives. But God has given us much more than that. He has promised to:

• Answer our prayers, John 15:7
• Give us victory over the world, the flesh (our own carnal nature) and the Devil (all the darkness that the powers of hell can generate), Rom. 8:37
• Promising to work every circumstance of life out for His glory and our ultimate benefit, Rom. 8:28 
• Never leave or forsake us, Heb. 13:5. 

Where we are concerned, there is nothing He has left undone.

 

 

Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.

Pastor Steve has been an Ordained Minister of the Gospel since 1982. He has worked for 20 years in the medical laboratory as a Certified Medical Technologist (Licensed Clinical Laboratory Supervisor, Retired).  He has a B.S. degree in Health Sciences, a Th.M. (Theology) and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences. He has served the Lord as the Senior Pastor of Biblical Alternatives Fellowship as well as the Chief Technical Advisor for the Creation Studies Institute. All that he is, and all that he has achieved, is due solely to the grace of God found in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.