May 21, 2017

Tom Lowe



(To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.)






Theme: Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.




Psalm 84 (KJV)


1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.



Preface to Psalm 84


“To the chief Musician upon Gittith, a Psalm for the sons of Korah.

The word “Gittith” (or, Gittish) means belonging to Gath. It probably denotes either a musical instrument or a kind of music performed in Gath, where David resided for a time during the persecution of Saul (1 Samuel 27:1-7). The word Gath also signifies in Hebrew a winepress. Hence more than a few have supposed that it denotes either an instrument or a song that was sung during the grape harvest. It was added to Psalm 8:1-9; 81:1-16; 84:1-12, all of which requires an animated strain of music.


The most remarkable thing to note about the “Sons of Korah is that during the time of King David, they became the great leaders in choral and orchestral music in the tabernacle. Heman the Korahite had a place of great importance as a singer, along with Asaph (a Gershonite) and Ethan (or Jeduthan; a Merarite). These individuals played an important role in the thanksgiving services and pageantry when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. David formed an elaborate organization for song, instrumental music, and prophesying through these men.


The psalm was probably written by David though it does not bear his name, nor has his authorship been verified. As for when it was written, opinions vary; some say it was when he fled from his son Absalom; others believe it was when he was being pursued by King Saul; and still others hold that it was written when David meditated on whether he should go out of Zion to worship in the house of God. Or perhaps it was written around the time that an army had blocked the way to Jerusalem, and hindered God’s people from worshiping God at the Temple; and others refer it to the time of the Babylonian captivity; and both Jarchi and Kimchi suppose it to have been written during the captivity, when the Temple and altars of God were in ruins. It is my opinion that the first answer is correct; it was written while he was fleeing from his son Absalom.






1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!


How amiable are thy tabernacles,

“How amiable” meansthe same as “how lovely,” or it is used as a token of endearment; “how dear,” “how beloved.” But here the word amiable is used to denote a quality of mind or disposition; such as gentle, affectionate, kind.


“Thy tabernacles” [note: some believe the psalmist has the Temple in mind] is somewhat confusingsince this plural form appears to include all the places in or near the Tabernacle [or Temple] where acts of Divine worship were performed. The holy of holies, the holy place, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt-offering, etc., all called here God's tabernacles or dwelling-places; for wherever God was worshipped, there He was thought to dwell. Then again, the plural form can mean nothing more than the apartments and covered passages of the revered Tabernacle.


The Tabernacle itself was divided into two parts. The first called the “sanctuary” or holy place was 60 feet in length, 60 feet in height, and 30 feet in width. In this were the golden candlestick, the table of showbread, and the altar of incense. The “holy of holies” or the “most holy place,” was 30 feet each way. In the first tabernacle this contained the Ark of the Covenant, the tables of the law, and over the ark were the mercy-seat and the cherubim. Into this place no person entered except the high priest, and he only once in a year. These two sections were separated only by a veil that was very costly and unique. It was this veil which was rent from the top to the bottom when the Savior died (Matthew 27:51). Around the walls of the “Temple” was a structure three stories high, containing chambers for the use of the officers of the Temple.


O Lord of hosts!

Jehovah of hosts, or of armies⸺all the armies of heaven and earth⸺is a favorite expression of the Hebrew writers, and especially of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and Malachi, by which they recognized Him as the universal governor of heaven and earth, “who has ordained and constituted the services of men and angels in a wonderful order,” and who employs His kingly and almighty power to rule the nations in righteousness, and to both punish and to save His chosen people. 


This psalm has been called one of the Eloheem psalms. Eloheem, (God,) is used six times; Jehovah, God, twice; Jehovah of hosts, three times; God of hosts, once; Jehovah, God of hosts, once. Like the other Korahitic psalms, it is highly lyrical and cheerful. The heart is in spirited sympathy with God and His worship, and the frequent use of the Divine name is moving.


2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.


My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord

The courts of the tabernacle were now at Gibeon, though the ark was in Zion [“So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness” (2 Chronicles 1:3)], as was the court of the priests, and the court of the Israelites. It was in the latter where the common people stood. David longed for these; he longed to enter into them, and stand in them, and worship God there. Such soul longings and compelling desires were the fruits and evidences of true grace, of being born again. It has happened millions of times, over-and-over again, newly born souls desire the sincere milk of the word, as a newly born babe desires its mother’s milk. The psalmist even “fainted” through disappointment, for it had been so long since He worshiped at the tabernacle that he had grown impatient to again enter the court of the Israelites and to worship God there; “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1).


“My soul longeth,” as used here means to be pale; then, to be faint or weak; and then, to pine [sulk, pout, brood]; and finally, to long for, to desire earnestly. It would denote longing or desire so intense that one would become faint or exhausted; that is, it indicates intense desire. In Psalm 17:12, it is applied to a hungry lion; “Like a lion that is greedy of its prey.” In Genesis 31:30, it conveys the idea of intense desire: “Because thou sore longedst after thy father‘s house.”


“Yea, even fainteth” suggests exhaustion; fading strength. The word means to be completed, finished; then to be consumed, to be spent, to waste or pine away. (See Genesis 21:15; Jeremiah 16:4; Lamentations 2:11; Job 19:27).


“For the courts of the Lord” refers to the different areas around the tabernacle or temple, within which many of the services of public worship were conducted, and which were frequented by different classes of persons.


my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God

He only inwardly desired, and secretly fainted, but audibly cried out in his distress, and verbally expressed with great passion his desire to enjoy the living God. It was not merely the courts, but God in them, that he wanted; even that God which has life in Himself, with Whom is the fountain of life; who gives life to others, natural, spiritual, and eternal; whose lovingkindness is better than life, and this was the thing longed for, and thirsted after. These desires were the desires of the whole man, soul and body. He not only cried with his mouth and lips, signified by his flesh, but with his heart also, sincerely and heartily; his heart went along with his mouth.


“My heart and my flesh,” that is, my whole nature; my body and my soul; all my desires and aspirations, and all the longings of my heart are there. The body and the flesh cry out for rest; the heart and the soul for communion with God. Our whole nature demands the benefits which spring from the worship of God. Body and soul were made for His service, and the necessities of neither can be satisfied without religion.


“Crieth out” means to produce a tremulous sound; then, to give forth the voice in vibrations, or in a quivering manner; and therefore it may mean either to utter cries of joy (Leviticus 9:24; Job 38:7; Isaiah 12:6), or to utter a loud wail (Lamentations 2:19). Its common application is to joy (Psalm 98:4; Psalm 132:16; Psalm 65:8); and it might be rendered here, “Sing unto the Lord,” or “Rejoice unto the Lord.” The connection, however, seems to demand that it be understood as the cry of earnest longing or desire.


“For the living God”; God, the true God, considered as living, as opposed to idols, which are always spoken of as dead.


3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.


Yea, the sparrow hath found an house

“An house” [home is better], that is, a place where she may build her nest, and rear her young. The word rendered here as “sparrow” is a name given to a bird due to the sound it makes when chirping or twittering. It is rendered sparrow in Leviticus 14:4 and Psalm 102:7; and is rendered bird in Genesis 7:14 and Genesis 15:10; and fowl in Deuteronomy 4:17 and Nehemiah 5:18. It may denote a bird of any kind, but is applied here to a sparrow, a species of bird very common and abundant in Palestine; a bird that makes its home mainly near houses, barns, etc. It will appear that it’s not improbable⸺from their well-known habits⸺that sparrows would be likely to gather around the tabernacle and even the altar. The sparrows which flutter and twitter about Jerusalem’s dilapidated buildings, and crevices in the city walls, are very numerous. In some of the more unfrequented streets they are so noisy that they almost drown-out every other sound. Their chirping is almost a coherent utterance of the Hebrew term (צפור tsippôr), which was used to designate that class of birds. It may be taken for granted that the sparrows are not less numerous in other places where they have similar means for obtaining shelter and building their nests. The sparrows, in their choice to nest near houses and other such places, appear to be a privileged bird. Encouraged by such indulgence, they are not timid and may enter boldly into the haunts of people. This verse brings to mind the time when the pious Israelites, who were living in exile and were barred from the privileges of the sanctuary, for they may have envied the birds, who seemed to be more favored than themselves.


And the swallow a nest for herself

A place where it may make its nest. The word used here (דרור derôr) denotes swift flight, a turning or looping; and it is applied to birds which fly in circles or gyrations, and the name is appropriately given to the swallow. It occurs in this sense only here and in Proverbs 26:2.


Where she may lay her young

Where she may place her young. The wordplay here is not used in the sense in which we now apply it when we speak of “laying” eggs. It means to place them; to make a home for them; to dispose and arrange them.


Even thine altars

The altars where thou art worshipped. The idea here is that the sparrows and the swallows seemed to have a happy lot in life; to be in a condition to be envied. Even they might come freely to the place where God was worshipped, to the very altars⸺and make their home there, where they will not be disturbed. How strongly in contrast with this was the condition of the wandering and exiled Jews!


O Lord of hosts

The “Lord [Adonai] of Hosts” is one of the names of God, used 235 times in the Bible. The first time it appears is in the story of Hannah and her husband Elkanah, during Hannah’s struggle with barrenness. Hannah is the first person to call God by this name. “Lord” [Adonai] was used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men.


 The name “LORD [YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH] of hosts” occurs some 261 times in the Old Testament Scriptures. God is first called the “LORD of hosts” in 1 Samuel 1:3. The word LORD, capitalized, refers to Yahweh, the self-existent, redemptive God. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.


The word hosts is a translation of the Hebrew word sabaoth, meaning “armies”—a reference to the angelic armies of heaven. Thus, another way of saying “LORD of hosts” is “God of the armies of heaven.”


my King, and my God

These could just as well have been the words of Jesus, for when He was attending His tabernacle, courts, and altars, He would testify of His subjection to God as His King, and his faith in Him, and thankfulness to Him, as His God. The Apostle Thomas said pretty much the same thing, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).


4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.


Blessed are they that dwell in thy house

“Thy house” is the house of God, and according to the psalmist, those who serve in His tabernacles and courts; referring to the priests and Levites⸺who were frequently officiating there, night and day, when it is their turn⸺are blessed. Equally blessed are the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Gibeon, where the ark and tabernacle were, for they had frequent opportunities to worship there.Psalm 65:4 has this to say; “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”


they will be still praising thee

Loving God and serving Him is delightful, for praise is a pleasant experience with which the priests and Levites are continually and constantly engaged.  Their praise is returned to them as blessings every day, and especially on the Lord's days, or at the stated times of public worship. Those who love and serve God will bless and praise the Lord, both for temporal and spiritual blessings, as long as they live; “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:1.



This word, which is found only in the poetical books of the Old Testament, occurs seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. It is probably a term which had a meaning in the musical nomenclature of the Hebrews, though what that meaning may have been is now a matter of pure conjecture. (Some think it has about the same meaning as our interlude; a pause in the voices singing, while the instruments perform alone.)


5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.


Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee

It is not merely they who dwell there permanently that are blessed, but also the man whose heart is there; who feels that his strength is in God alone, who loves to go there when an opportunity is afforded him. The idea is that all strength must come from God; that this Strength is to be obtained by waiting on him [But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)], and therefore, it is a privilege to wait on God. [Compare Psalm 84:7.]


In whose heart are the ways of them

Literally, “The ways in their heart.” The word “ways” may refer either to the ways or paths that lead to the place of worship, or the ways to God and to heaven. Since the allusion, however, is evidently to those who were accustomed to go up to the place of public worship, the meaning is, that the man is blessed or happy whose heart is on those ways; who thinks about them; who makes preparation for going there; who is resolved to go up to worship. The essence is weakened in our translation by the insertion of the words “of them.” The literal translation is better: “The ways, that is, the paths, the going up, the journey, to the place of public worship, are in their heart.” Their affections; their thoughts are there. The word rendered ways, usually means a raised way, a highway, but it may refer to any public path. It would be analogous to what we call a turnpike (road), or any way (path, highway, freeway, etc.) constructed for public use. The allusion is to the ways or paths by which the people regularly went up to the place of public worship; and the idea may be well expressed in these words penned by Watts: “I love her gates, I love the road.”


The sentiment expressed in this verse is in thousands of hearts; in the happiness, the peace, and the joy with which true worshippers go to the house of God. In the mind of the writer of the psalm this would have an additional beauty and attractiveness from being associated with the thought of the multitudes thronging that path; the groups, the companies, and the families that crowded the way to the place of public worship on the occasions of their great festivals.


6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.


Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well

 “Who passing,”or, being used to pass; for he does not seem to speak of one particular occasion, but of a regular route or long-established way, “through the valley of Baca.”Some Jewish and non-Jewish writers affirm that it was a very dry place, and therefore unpleasant for travelers in those hot countries, and in hot seasons. This way (path, road) through “the valley of Baca” was not the only way to Jerusalem, but one of the ways, and on one side of Jerusalem, so it could not be a general way for all the Israelites; but “the valley of Baca” became the designation for all places of like nature, which made their journey to Jerusalem unpleasant or inconvenient. But their zeal for God’s service did easily overcome this and other difficulties. [Some render the phrase as the valley of tears, which this valley might be called because of the trouble or displeasure which travelers found there on account of drought, or other inconveniences.] 


“Make it a well”or, wells; that is, dig little pits or wells in it⸺for the purpose of relieving their thirst. They willingly undertook this assignment, rather than to neglect the opportunity of going up to Jerusalem at the times of worship. And possibly they did this, not only for themselves, but for the benefit of other travelers who came after them; whereby they showed both their piety and charity.


the rain also filleth the pools.

“The rain also filleth the pools” may, perhaps, denote God’s reward for their diligence in digging pits, or little pools, or cisterns with His blessing. God sent the rain in order to fill the pools, and refresh thirsty travelers, whose great numbers made a supply of water more necessary. But we need to understand this and the foregoing clause as relating what these travelers did for their own use, as they travelled through this and similar places; then again, it may describe what pious persons did before that time, who, having their hearts set upon God’s house, and the pathways leading to it (see Psalms 84:5), and desiring to expand the worship of God, and to encourage the people to come to Jerusalem, endeavored to make those ways (some parts were very troublesome and difficult) easy and convenient.  Those Eastern countries have not changed much for thousands of years; they were hot and dry, and springs of water were scarce, as we may learn from Genesis 26:15 and Jude 1:15, and many other passages of sacred Scripture and from other authors, which was a great annoyance to travelers, hence, they made these pits and pools or cisterns in those places where they were needed the most, and since then, great numbers of people have drank from them on their journey to the house of God.


7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.


They go from strength to strength

This clause describes those whose strength is in the Lord, and who has His ways in their heart, and who pass through the valley of Baca, and find a well with a supply of water; pools of blessings. They renew their spiritual strength; they grow stronger and stronger every step they take; the way of the Lord is their strength. Or “they go from army to army,” or “from company to company,” which some Bible scholars suggest is referring to the companies in which they went up to the feasts (see Luke 2:44); when those who were more zealous, or more able to undergo journeys, would outdistance the rest, and first overtake one company, and then another, and get to Zion first. Or they go from “victory to victory”; first overcoming one enemy, and then another, such as sin, Satan, and the world, for they are more than conquerors through Him that has loved them. Or “from doctrine to doctrine”; being led first into one truth, and then into another, as they were able to understand them, and to go on to know the Lord, and increase in the knowledge of Him. Or to go “from class to class”; from the lower to a higher standing in the school of Christ. The phrase has also been interpreted, “from school to school,” and from sanctuary to school; “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).


everyone of them in Zion appeareth before God

Three times in the year, the people of God should appear before Him in His church “below,” (but not empty) presenting their persons, souls and bodies, prayers and praises, as holy and spiritual sacrifices unto Him; and nothing is more desirable to them. [But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty” (Exodus 34:20)]. This is what they wished for; their happiness, and the reason for their travel, toil, and labor [“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:2)]; and they shall appear before Him, and in His presence; in the church above (Zion). When Christ shall appear, they shall appear with Him in glory, and be like Him, and see Him as He is; every one of them, and not one shall want for anything, because He is great in power, not one of them shall fail.


8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.


O Lord God of hosts

A new subject is evidently opened at this verse. [See the notes at Psalm 84:1.] God is appealed to here as a God of power; as a God who is able to accomplish all His purposes, and to impart every needed blessing. The psalmist believes his God can easily remove and subdue those enemies of his who have banished him and keep him away from the place where God is worshiped.


Hear my prayer

A prayer of the psalmist that he might (1), have a place among the servants of God in their worship (Psalm 84:2); or (2), he is excited by the view which he had of the blessedness and joy of those who went with songs up to Zion; therefore, his prayer is that he would be among them, and that he may partake of their blessedness and joy. There may have been other things he prayed for; such as (3), the redemption of the captives; (4), the building of the temple; (5), the courts of God, and an opportunity to attend them; and (6), that those courts would be filled with the presence of God. See Psalm 84:1-2 in which He might hope to succeed when he considers that the Lord is the God of hosts, or armies, in heaven and on earth; and so, He was able to do everything for him, and even more for him than he could ask or imagine.


Give ear, O God of Jacob

“Give ear”; we naturally incline the ear toward anyone when we wish to hear clearly what he says, and we turn away the ear when we do not. The meaning here is that David prayed that God honor him by listening to his prayer, that he would pay attention to his “words”—to what he was about to “express” as his great desire. He intended to convey only what he wished to be granted.


“God of Jacob” is a title of God, which takes us back to the time when Jacob wrestled in prayer, and prevailed (See Genesis 32:24-30).  Notice: The One addressed is not “the God of Israel,” but the God (Elohim) who met Jacob when he had nothing and deserved nothing (but wrath), and promised him everything: thus becoming “the God of all grace.” Here is a soul calling upon God as a covenant God, the God of Jacob; and in his name prays to be heard.


9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.


Behold, O God our shield

“Our shield” is figuratively used here to single out God as our protector, which is how the word is employed in Psalms 47:9 and Hosea 4:18, where shields is rendered rulers, because they are the natural protectors of the people. The title points to the imperiled state of the nation.


“Our shield,” which may be considered either:

  1. The character of God, who is being addressed. He was David's shield, and the shield of His people; to protect and defend them from their enemies, and is the shield of all the saints. His kindness encompasses them as a shield, and His truth is their shield and buckler; His veracity and faithfulness is engaged in keeping covenant and promises; and so is His power, by which they are eternally kept safe and saved [Psalm 3:3], or else….
  2. It belongs to other persons and things which the psalmist desires that God would “behold,” and this agrees with the following clause. Or it may be applied to….
    1. The house of the sanctuary, as a shield for their faith.
    2. The king their protector; and that makes the sense of the petition to be, that God would save our king.
    3. It is best to apply it to Christ, though, for afterwards, He is called a sun and shield (See Psalm 84:11), and the following clause belongs to Him.


And look upon the face of thine anointed

Look favorably upon me; look with compassion and kindness. Some believe that the word “anointed” is put for the word “Messiah” [“The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying” (Psalm 2:2)]. However, it seems to me, and many other commentators agree, that here the word rendered “thine anointed” is evidence that the author was David, who is called the anointed of the Lord in other psalms and in other places in the Scripture. It is true that this designation was applicable to other kings, and also to priests and prophets, but the circumstances in the case concur best with the supposition that David is referred to. The allusion here is not to Christ; and the language does not suggest or justify the use which is often made of it when prayer is offered, that “God would look upon us in the face of his anointed.”


By “face” he means either his person⸺the word face being often redundant, as it is in Genesis 43:3⸺or his state and condition. To “look upon the face,” is an oriental expression; to “look upon the face” of a petitioner means to grant his request. If he has offended and asks for mercy, instead of saying, “I forgive you,” the answer is, “I have seen thy face.” David said of Absalom, “Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face” (2 Samuel 14:24), a mark of great displeasure. (Genesis 43:3; 2 Samuel 3:13). The prayer assumes that if God “look upon the face” of the representatives of the nation in this crisis, the nation will rise from its ruins. Spiritually Christ is our representative, God’s “anointed,” in whose face he can look contentedly and grant us peace.


10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.


“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand”

Not only better than one thousand in captivity, but anywhere else; for in God’s courts we meet with God the King, and whatever we ask Him for in prayer, believing in Him and asking in Jesus’ name, He is sure to provide it through His Christ. “One day” in the house of God, in the world to come, “is better than a thousand”⸺better with regard to peace of mind, solid pleasure, real profit, and true honour⸺in other places, especially in places of sin, and in the company of wicked men; one day in God's house employed in spiritual exercises, and enjoying communion with Him, is better than a thousand days in any of the houses of Satan, of sinful pleasure, or in the houses of sinful men.


 “One day” with the Son of man; with His word and ordinances, in worshipping in the fear of God, in spirit and in truth; in divine service, assisted by the Spirit of God, doing everything in faith, from love, and with a view to the glory of God; a day spent in religious exercises “is better than a thousand”; that is, than a thousand days; not than a thousand days spent in like manner, but than a thousand  days spent in gratifying selfish desires.


“I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

That is, in the most insignificant job and in the least accommodating place there, which may evoke thoughts of the Levites, for some of them were porters, and stood at the doors of the Lord's house (1 Chronicles 26:1). But the psalmist may be thinking of the beggars that lay at the gates of the temple pleading for alms (Acts 3:1); or he may be alluding to the servant that wanted to continue in his master's house, and serving him forever; who was brought to the door post, and had his ears bored through with an awl (Exodus 21:5). The psalmist was such a willing servant; and this seems to be the sense of this verse.


“than to dwell in the tents of wickedness

The meaning is not houses built by wicked men, or with money obtained through criminal activities; but where wicked men dwelt; men so bad that they are called wickedness itself. Perhaps the psalmist might have been thinking of the tents of Kedar, where he had sometimes been (See Psalm 120:5); but now to live in the house of God in a place not worth mentioning; to wait at the door as a porter, to lie there as a beggar, to sit upon the threshold or be that threshold itself, was abundantly preferable to living forever in the   house of wicked princes and great men; than to live in the most pompous manner, being comfortable and having plenty, enjoying all the good things of life that his heart can desire. One hour's communion with God in His house is better than all this, and the reason I say that is in the following.


11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.


For the Lord God is a sun and shield

Christ is "the sun of righteousness", and it is in the house of God that he arises upon his people with healing in his wings [“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2)]. He is like the sun, the great light, the fountain of light, the light of the world, which dispels darkness, makes day, and gives light to all the celestial bodies, moon and stars, church and ministers. He is a "sun" to enlighten His people with the light of grace, to warm them with the beams of His love, to cheer and refresh their souls with the light of his countenance, and to make them fruitful and flourishing. He is a “shield” to protect them from all their enemies; He is the shield of faith, or which faith makes use of, against the temptations of Satan; He is the shield of salvation, and His salvation is a shield which shelters from Divine justice, and secures from wrath to come:


 The idea conveyed by the comparison derived from the sun is that, as the sun by His light enlivens, brightens, sharpens, nourishes, and rejoices the world, so the kindly countenance of God fills the hearts of His people with joy, or rather, that they neither live nor breathe except in so far as He shines upon them. The idea behind the term shield is that our salvation, which would otherwise be in peril from countless dangers, is perfectly safe under His protection. The power of God to provide new life to everyone at the moment they are saved would be far from adequate to keep us saved, unless in the midst of so many dangers, He uses His power as a shield to defend us.


the Lord will give grace and glory

He gives converting grace, the first grace, and all future supplies of it; He gives sanctifying grace, all sorts of it, faith, hope, love, and every other; He gives justifying, pardoning, adopting, and persevering grace, and all are freely given. He gives honor and glory among men, fellow creatures, and fellow Christians; and He gives eternal glory, the glory His Father gave Him, the crown of glory, life, and righteousness; this is the gift of God through Christ. Christ gives a right to it, and the thing itself; and in His house and ordinances, as He gives more grace to the humble that wait upon him, so he encourages and increases their hope of glory; and He that gives the one will certainly give the other, for these two are inseparably connected together, so that he that has the one shall enjoy the other:


“no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly”

Those that have received Him, that walk by faith, and go on in Christ, whose conversations are according to the Gospel of Christ, and walk in the uprightness and sincerity of their hearts; from them the Lord will not withhold any good thing. He has promised to them, or laid up for them in covenant, no spiritually good thing pertaining to life and godliness, and no earthly blessing that is good for them; He will instead deny them no good thing they ask of Him, not anything that is good for them, for they will have them now, and He will not take back any good things He has bestowed on them, his gifts are as eternal as is His salvation.


With these words, no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” He isobviously teaching us that God’s bounty can never be exhausted, but flows without a pause. We learn from these words, that whatever excellence may be in us proceeds solely from the grace of God. They contain, at the same time, this special mark, by which the genuine worshipers of God may be distinguished from others, “That their life is framed and regulated according to the principles of strict integrity.”


12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.


Trust in God implies total self-renunciation. The moment that I trust in myself, I cease to trust in God. The moment I take any portion of my confidence away from the Lord and put a grain of it in myself, that moment I take away all my trust in God. My trust in God must be all or nothing. It must be unreserved and complete, or else it is false and counterfeit. Isn’t the Lord worthy of being trusted? And if he is worthy to be trusted at all, isn’t He worthy to be trusted with all? What real confidence could a man have in his wife if he could not trust her with having a credit card? Is that full confidence? We are told in the Song of Solomon, that if we trust God for one thing but not for all, it shows that we have no real trust in Him. A man who will not let his wife have a credit card or the check book has no real trust in her.


A man who cannot give God all his heart and put everything into his hand; family, property, body, and soul, has no real trust in God. The aim and work of true faith is to put everything into the hands of God, holding nothing back. It is this secret reserve that God hates; there is hypocrisy on the very face of it. Trust in God for nothing; or trust in him for all. God will not take a divided heart. Give Him all, or nothing. Isn’t He worthy of it? Has He ever disappointed you whenever you have really put your trust in Him?


David saw how few there were that did trust in God with all their hearts. This feeling seems to have made him say, "Blessed is the Prayer of Manasseh," that peculiar Prayer of Manasseh, that rare individual, "that trusts in you!" The blessing of God rests upon that happy, that highly-favored man. He is blessed for time and for eternity. He has the blessing of God even now in his soul. Oh! how rare it is for us to be in that sweet, blessed “frame of mind” when we can put our trust completely in God; trust Him for life and death; trust him for all things, past, present, and future. Yet without this faith entirely filling your heart, there is no solid peace, no real and abiding rest. Friend, you must trust Him sooner or later; for you cannot carry your own burdens without their breaking your back. But when you can cast your burden on the Lord, then you will surely find sweet relief.


Let us then, join heart and voice with David, “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you?” Such a man or woman will never be disappointed. The Lord will hear his prayer; the Lord will bless his soul; will be with him in life, support him in death, and take him to be with Him in eternity.