The Safest Place

Never noticed something about the following Psalm.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!”

~Psalm 84:1-4

What I’d never noticed is where it is that the sparrow and the swallow find a suitable place to make their nest, the safest place to “lay her young.” After searching high and low, they see the red-stained altar, the place where men take sparrows and swallows for the slaughter. But they see something more powerful, more beautiful and true of that place, because the altar only requires sacrifice when men approach. There is, indeed, no safer place in the world for the pure in heart. God does not delight in sacrifices (Ps. 40; 51; Heb. 10), in the broken bones of innocent animals. He delights in broken spirits, broken spirits and contrite hearts (Ps. 51). I guess, too, he delights in singing, as the song above suggests. In fact, David said that he “inhabits the praises of his people” (Ps. 22). So how much more does he delight when the praise of his creation inhabits his altar, bringing the joy of the morning song to the place that needs it most.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” ~Jesus

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