As we read through Psalm 84 today, it’s first important to realize a few things have changed since it was written in regard to man’s relationship with God. The temple was not only a place of worship, but it was the central location for God’s people to have an encounter with Him. It was where His presence could be found. Nowadays, most of us mistakenly consider the church building where we attend to be the modern-day temple. This, however, is not biblical. The temple of God is now us! The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 6:
17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Just as the pre-Christ Jews valued the temple, we should value our bodies! It might seem a bit strange to consider the implications of this in entirety. I too struggle with it sometimes and continually try to remind myself of the importance of how I treat my own body.
If Israel went to the temple to seek and experience God and this temple is now the very flesh that our soul resides in, how then can we experience what we are reading in Psalm 84? Clearly we “dwell” in this “house” but how can it be a place where we “go” to experience God’s presence? God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all the time. The big question is: are we paying attention to Him? We have a tendency to only pay attention to God and His work in our lives when it suits us. It doesn’t really matter if we spend 3 minutes a day praying to Him just before our meals or 5 hours in the morning in prayer and meditation…as soon as we leave that conscious space, we suddenly forget about Him and go on about our day.
In the days that the psalms were written, this made sense. God was only in a specific location. You had to literally carve out time in your day, week, month, even year to literally go and spend time with God. It is the only place mankind could interact with Him. But now, thanks to Jesus and what He did so we could literally have God inside us all the time, we have no excuse! Do we value and treasure the time we have with God as much as Israel did when they had the temple?