Where I’d Rather Be
Psalm 84 begins, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul has a longing, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” And towards the end it continues, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The Psalm works to awaken longing for the abode of God in our hearts. To be in the dwelling place of God is to be in the presence of God and to be filled the blessing of God, which is itself the vision of God.
The whole narrative of the Bible can be viewed through that prism – about our entry into the abode of God, the home of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It begins in Eden, the home of the man and the woman where God comes to walk with them. Through sin, the rejection of the word of God for another directing word, the man and the woman find themselves estranged from their home. It is guarded against their return by angels and a flaming sword. There is no way back.
But as the Scriptures unfold, we see the purpose of God to reconcile and restore humanity to Himself. Through Jesus Christ into the ages to come there will be before a holy, blameless family in love (Eph. 1:3-4.) This purpose begins with Abraham and his descendants who are promised a land to dwell in. The purpose reaches a particular peak in the descending of the LORD onto Sinai to speak with His people and to give instructions for the Tabernacle, by which the presence of the LORD will continue to be available to His people. It is not that the Tabernacle encages God, but rather that God promises to make Himself available to His people in blessing through the Tabernacle worship. The Tabernacle becomes the Temple when the people settle in the land, but then the Temple also does not encage God.
When Israel turns from the LORD in idolatrous rebellion, the LORD can depart from the Temple (the prophecy of Ezekiel) and actually go to His people in exile. Jesus comes, the eternal Word of God who has taken on human flesh bones as His dwelling place and tabernacles among us. Again, there is rebellion against the LORD, and the killing of the Son of God follows. But it is turned by the Lord into the very event that will actually prepare a place for the people of God in the Father’s house. The death of Jesus prepares that place by preparing the people, taking from us our sin and standing us in the holiness and blamelessness of the Father. And then the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us, the Spirit of hope who writes into our hearts a longing for the great day that is coming, the day when the dwelling place of God is with man, the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ, when all sin, evil and death is destroyed forever and only righteousness dwells in the all the creation. That is the day in which we will see God. Jesus will have given us complete freedom to enter into the abode of God! And that’s where I’d rather be!!