APRIL 7: I WOULD RATHER

I WOULD RATHER
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, a place near Your altar, Lord Almighty, my King, and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You. Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on Your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You."
Psalm 84:1-12
Today's Read: Psalm 84; 2 Corinthians 4
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 Psalm 84 is a reference to the literal route of pilgrimage God's people took on their journey to the temple in Jerusalem three times a year.
The three major festivals God's people celebrated were Pesach (Passover,) Shavout (Weeks of Pentecost,) and Sukkot (Tabernacles, tents, or booths.)
These three festivals were to remind God's people of His pilgrimage with them; and keep them in continual remembrance of His glory, goodness, and faithfulness to them.
The pilgrimage itself would foster both communion and community amongst His people,
and together they would offer sacrifice and worship as one corporate nation.
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Three precious extractions from this passage:
1) God separates one man from another through "pilgrimage."
Those who have set their minds and hearts on an eternal heavenly pilgrimage are, quite naturally, going to find intimate discourse with those on a similar journey.
The "pilgrimage" itself creates and forges a unique spiritual tie to those of like mind and soul which are bent and sent on an internal quest toward an ultimate home divine.
Sometimes the journey is long, lonely and tedious, and other times the journey teems with life and fellow pilgrims unite and enjoy the journey together.
Ultimately, each soul must decide about the journey they're on and the cost they believe the journey to be worth.
Those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage shall be blessed.
God shall cause to fall "the rejuvenating rains" on His faithful elect, both corporately and individually.
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2) Great sorrows are swallowed up by great blessings.
The "Valley of Baca" is interpreted as the "Valley of Weeping."
Christ says that a pilgrimage with Him will involve suffering and that "suffering" is a fellow pilgrim linking us to the "suffering Christ" and the divine Father.
Suffering is not to prevent us on the journey but to further us.
While suffering doesn't look like a favorable blessing in the moment ... it most certainly becomes one that translates into it as God accompanies it.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12
Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:4; 
2Corinthians 4:8-9,17-18
Suffering is an eternal certainty for God's elect in this life; it's not a popular theme but its a holy true theme.
Familiarize yourself with it and recognize the value of all that God does with it and through it. Walk through the "Valley of Weeping" with the knowledge that it is an integral part of the intimate journey upward.
Rain will fall gently on the Redeemed;
and Christ shall make the "Valley of Baca" a sustaining "well" of life giving waters.
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3) There is no "lodging" comparable to God's holy place.
The final destination and resting place of true pilgrimage is God's presence;
In that presence and near that presence we find life, purpose, and meaning.
Should I have been created a tender swallow or sparrow, I should like to believe that I would've found my haven in the heights of the holy temple.
Even a few "knowing birds" find a secure resting, nesting place in the pinnacles and portals of God's temple.
O that we might attempt to leave off such worldly matters and tend to the sanctuary of the soul where Christ abides, dwells, and fills.
His presence alone is man's sure sanctuary and man's ultimate final resting place.
In Him we find our rest,
Our nest,
Our true haven.
Healing and restoration rides on the wings of the Redeemed.
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Record this tender Psalm with your own pen and see the spiritual landscape set before you. How does it look and where do you see yourself in relation to God?
2) How does the idea of "suffering" affect you? Are you experiencing it on your journey and trying to remove yourself from it or are you accepting it as an integral part of your journey upward? How has God used the suffering of others to aid you?
3) What is it that you really desire on this earth? Ultimately all quests, apart from God, are filled with futility and frustration. Perhaps today marks a new day where your landscape changes. Make adjustments and begin the journey upward.
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"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."
Psalm 84:10