Hovering over a verse in Psalm 65 this morning. Not so much noodling on it as responding to it. Less asking, “What does this mean?”, more in awe of “How can this be?” Chewing on the blessing of being brought near.
Blessed is the one You choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple!
(Psalm 65:4 ESV)
Blessed and satisfied. That’s the state, sings the songwriter, which marks those God has chosen to bring near. Happy and fulfilled. The inner actuality, despite the outer reality, of those who have been set apart by the living God to enter into the presence of the living God.
There’s just something about stepping again onto holy ground that puts everything else into context. Something about drawing near to God that dims, even if for just a moment, whatever dread we might have for the day which lies before us.
But more than just a moment of respite, to dwell in His courts brings also a certain rejuvenation. Dwelling in His courts, even for just a few minutes, is to be reminded afresh of His goodness. His goodness a reminder of His holiness. His holiness a reminder of His greatness.
The songwriter considers again that He is the One who has established the mountains and stills the roaring seas (65:6-7). The One who commands the dawn to break and the sun to set (65:8b). The One who visits the earth to water it, the One who tends the earth so that all might reap of it (65:9-13). So that by His awesome deeds — those daily realities which we too often take for granted — we can know afresh that He alone is the God of our salvation, the hope of the ends of the earth (65:5). And it is this One, God over all, who has chosen a people to bring near. Who has called a people to dwell in His courts. Who has redeemed a people to know the goodness of His presence.
Hmm. Despite whatever else is going down today, that’s the blessing of being brought near. Knowing afresh the goodness of being in His presence.
Thus, O child of God, respond. Take time to reflect. With the eye of faith, pause and see yourself standing in the place where the glory dwells. Let your soul be fed with the goodness of His house. Bow in awe in the presence of His holiness. And then, respond.
Praise is due to You, O God, in Zion, and to You shall vows be performed.
(Psalm 65:1 ESV)
Satisfied. Knowing afresh it is well with my soul.
Isn’t that the blessing of being brought near? I’m thinkin’ . . .
By His grace. For His glory.