Intimate communion

THE BEAUTY OF INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH GOD Psalms 84:1-8

YOUR PRESENCE IS LOVELY V.1

YOUR POSITION IS LAUDED

YOUR PRESENCE IS:

WHAT WE LONG FOR V.2

WHAT WE LANGUISH AFTER

WHAT WE’RE LONELY FOR

THE DESOLATE SPARROW V.3

FINDS RELATIONSHIP

THE DRIFTING SWALLOW

FINDS RELAXATION

FINDS REFUGE

THE DETERMINED SEARCHER

FINDS REALITY

IN ADORATION

even thine altars,

IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

O LORD of hosts,

IN APPROPRIATION

ACCEPTING HIS PATH

my King,

ACCEPTING HIS PROVIDENCE

and my God.

ACCEPTING HIS PLACE V.4

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:

ACCEPTING HIS PRAISE

they will be still praising thee Selah.

ACCEPTING HIS POWER V.5

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;

ACCEPTING HIS PATH

in whose heart are the ways of them.

ACCEPTING HIS PERSPECTIVE V.6

“David says,

“Your face will I seek” Ps 27:8

But isn’t God everywhere?

Yes, of course,

He’s omnipresent—he is everywhere Ps 139:7–12

What does it mean, then,

to seek His face & to “draw near” if He is everywhere already?

When we speak to someone, we don’t look down.

We don’t stare at their feet.

We look at the person by looking at their face.

The face is the place of response.

This is where we look for reception & relationship.

The face is our door of access into a person’s mind & heart.

To seek God’s face is not to find some place in space where God is located.

It’s not a building where God resides,

It’s not a shrine to do chants.

God’s face & His presence is approached by our hearts

God’s face is seen through the enabling of His Spirit

God’s Spirit speaks through God’s Word to give us a sense of God’s reality & presence.

Jesus guaranteed that He is always with us.

We are called by God to “pray & seek His face”

But we lose track of God in our trials.

We easily doubt His presence & question His involvement & care.

When we lose a sense of God’s presence we feel we have lost God’s face.

It hurts to feel that He’s turned His face from us.

We can echo David’s cry in Ps 13:1

How long will You forget me, O LORD?

for ever?

how long will You hide Your face from me?

To seek His face is to seek communion with Him.

This is to experience a real interaction with God,

sharing our thoughts & His love

YOUR PRESENCE IS LOVELY V.1

How amiable are Your tabernacles,

We “behold the glory (amiable beauty) of God in the face of Jesus Christ”

The tabernacles in the Old Testament times were a tent

they hauled this tent around in the wilderness & constructed

this tent at each place they stopped.

This was where the Lord lived & met with them.

The tabernacle in our lives today is seen in John 1:14

And the Word was made flesh & tabernacled among us,

(and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)

full of grace & truth.

When Jesus tabernacle (tent) was dismantled,

everything went dark but God shined through the dark times

by bring Jesus back from death.

For God, who commanded

the light to shine out of darkness,

has shined in our hearts,

to give the light of the knowledge

of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor. 4:6

Now Jesus tabernacles in us through His indwelling Spirit

We are His tent

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,

that the excellency of the power may be of God,

and not of us.

2 Cor. 4:7

We can get hung up on how we think or feel.

That is why we have to rest our faith & hope in God’s power.

So that our faith would not rest on men’s wisdom

(our thoughts & feelings)

but on God’s power through His Word.

1 Cor 2:5

Now we know that if the earthly tent

we live in is dismantled,

we have a building from God,

an eternal house in heaven,

not built by human hands.

2 Cor 5:1

The Scottish Psalter renders this text with poetic elegance

How lovely is Thy dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts, to me!

The tabernacles of Thy grace

How pleasant, Lord, they be!

My thirsty soul longs vehemently,

Yea, faints, Thy courts to see:

My very heart & flesh cry out,

O living God, for Thee.

YOUR POSITION IS LAUDED

O LORD of hosts!

Is a reference to the sovereign LORD of hosts.

He has the grace to always be there for each of us.

We come to Him through faith

in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our King of glory,

He, who commands the armies of heaven

He, who will eventually defeat all His enemies in the universe.

Jesus Christ, He is our LORD of hosts.

He is the almighty one who controls everything.

YOUR PRESENCE IS:

WHAT WE LONG FOR V.2

My soul longs,

WHAT WE LANGUISH AFTER

yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD:

WHAT WE’RE LONELY FOR

my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God.

My Soul, my heart & my flesh.

These could refer to our emotions,

our reason or thinking processes & our will,

that place in our person where we decide & choose.

We long & faint in our soul.

Longing means feeling the most intense desire.

Fainting means we are exhausted with that intensity of desire.

But is it for a physical place?

What makes a house into a home?

Is it a beautiful building?

Is it having an ivory palace?

Can a marble mansion satisfy?

The reality is that material things are never enough.

A glorious castle & even a majestic cathedral is,

basically, only an empty shell, a soulless sad body.

What we want is the sense of being face to face with Jesus.

THE DESOLATE SPARROW

Yes, the sparrow

FINDS RELATIONSHIP

hath found an house,

Sparrows are a symbol for something that is almost worthless.

In Jerusalem children caught sparrows to get a little bit of spending money.

They sold two for a farthing (penny) & five for two farthings

Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6

Yet the sparrow found a home near God’s altar Ps. 84:3

Will God not also provide a home for us,

who are worth much more than sparrows?

When he was referring to a sparrow’s value, Jesus said,

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

Yet not one of them will fall to the ground

apart from the will of your Father.…

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

Matt. 10:29, 31

Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote about sparrows

thoughtfully, comparing them to Gods people:

“I look down some street & see a humble chapel

where a group of simple people worship the Lord

in the beauty of holiness,

They’re despised & rejected of men,

even as was their Lord & I know

that this is the rich reality of spiritual truth.

Here are the sparrows who find their nest

at the cross of Jesus Christ.

Here is those who are viewed as worthless

that finds its worth because the Savior died.”

THE DRIFTING SWALLOW

and the swallow

FINDS RELAXATION

a nest for herself,

FINDS REFUGE

where she may lay her young,

Swallows.

One has written:

The swallow is a Bible’s symbol of restlessness.

It is a bird that is always in the air,

winging its way from point to point

from the earliest glimmer of dawn to after sunset.

It wearies the watcher who is trying to keep it in view.

But then the time comes for it to mate & raise young,

and the swallow builds a nest & settles down on it to rest peacefully.

This is a picture of the soul apart from God & then in God,

when at last it comes to rest in the Lord

Alexander Maclaren said,

“There is only one being in this world

that does not fit the world that he is in,

and that is man, chief & foremost of all.

Other beings perfectly correspond

to what we now call their ‘environment.’ ”

He meant what Saint Augustine meant

when he wrote in words much better known,

“Our hearts are restless till they rest in God.”

We find our rest in God,

no more flitting around,

no more wandering & restless.

God gives us peace.

Even the swallow found “a nest for herself,

where she may have her young—

a place near Your altar.”

Kenneth Ellison wrote:

“You hesitate at my garden gate,

as I watch & patiently wait.

The gateway is swung wide

and I bid you enter inside.

Come nearer my weary child,

and linger for a restful while.

Wipe dry your tear stained face,

there is soothing in my grace.

Walk with me along the pathway

I will ease your suffering away,

Hold firm my hand as we tarry,

your heavy burdens I will carry.

Renew in my strength as we stroll,

for I will comfort and consol,

We will while away pleasant hours

beneath the fragrant rose bowers.

Sit with me where the roses grow,

Feel the healing glow of love flow,

hold near to me beneath the bough,

I will smooth your furrowed brow.

Here where the dew drops glisten

speak to me child and I will listen,

Give to me your trouble and trials,

I will restore your forgotten smiles.

My love for you knows no bounds,

Let my grace and mercy surround,

Feel your sorrows ebb then cease,

through me there is blissful peace.

I will caress and ease you through

whatever heartache may visit you,

Trust my love to light your pathway,

when troubles would turn you astray.

Life is brimmed with doubts and fear

but be of brave heart for I am near,

As problems encircle you and harden,

come unto me child, rest in my garden.”

Ellison

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