The consecration of Solomon’s temple brings to our mind his father’s delightful Psalm, in which he expressed his love to the worship of the Lord his God.
More delightful than tongue can tell are the assemblies for divine worship. They are lovely in prospect, lovely at the time, and lovely to the memory afterwards. Under heaven, no place is so heavenly as the church of the living God.
Do we feel the same burning desire after God? If so, we shall not need urging to attend his worship. Some need to be whipped to worship, but David is here crying for it; he needed no clatter of bells to ring him in to the service, he carried his bell in his own bosom.
He envied the little birds which lodged about the tabernacle. When far away from the Lord’s altars he wished he had wings to fly to them, as the sparrows did, or build near them after the manner of the swallows.
He wished he could be always employed about the sacred tent, for he thought that even the menial servants of such a Lord would be always praising him. Dwelling so near him, their joy would never cease, their praises would sound forth both day and night.
Or, “in whose heart are thy ways.” None find joy in worship but those who throw their hearts into it. Neither prayer, nor praise, nor the hearing of the word will be profitable to persons who have left their hearts behind them.
The pilgrims who went up to the temple found refreshment in the dreariest part of the road, even the gloomy vale of tears became delightful to them. They made desolate valleys to be as cheerful as the wells where men and women were accustomed to meet for social intercourse. What will not holy fellowship and hearty praises do?
God’s people hold on their way, grow stronger, and at last reach their journey’s end, for they have an almighty Convoy who will not suffer them to fail.
The doorkeeper is first in and last out, and he has less comfort than anyone, yet David would sooner have the lowest place in God’s house, than the highest in the tents of sin. Quaint old Seeker says, “Happy are those persons whom God will use as besoms to sweep out the dust from his temple, or who are allowed to tug at an oar of the boat wherein Christ and his people are embarked.”
What a great promise, or set of promises! Here we have all we need for all time, yea, and for eternity. What an encouragement to pray! If all things are freely given to us of God, let us open our mouths wide in our petitions. What more can God himself say than he has said in this most precious verse?
How pleasant, how divinely fair,
O Lord of hosts, thy dwellings are!
With long desire my spirit faints
To meet the assemblies of thy saints.
My flesh would rest in thine abode,
My panting heart cries out for God;
My God! my King! why should I be
So far from all my joys and thee?