Tabletalk Subscription
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.You've accessed all your free articles.
Unlock the Archives for Free

Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.

Try Tabletalk Now

Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?

Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.

{{ error }}Need help?

Some people enjoy looking at other people’s homes. They scan real estate websites, read architectural magazines, and watch shows on home renovation. For these kinds of people, looking at a beautiful home could be a temptation to covet, but it is often a source for creative inspiration or simply a relaxing diversion.

Psalm 84 is an extended reflection on one extraordinary house. It is a dwelling place of beauty, with amenities that fulfill the deepest human needs and longings. Listen to the psalmist’s words:

How lovely is your dwelling place,
     O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
     for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
          to the living God. . . .
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
     ever singing your praise! (Ps. 84:1–4)

Why is the dwelling place of God so attractive? It is not its architectural features or its decorations that make it appealing. Its appeal comes from the fact that the Lord is there.

Where does God dwell today? Because God is omnipresent and omniscient, we can approach Him through Christ wherever we are. He is always with His people. When Paul was on trial in Asia, he testified: “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood by me” (2 Tim. 4:16–17). Psalm 23 puts it this way: “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (v. 4).

But the Bible is clear that Christ is present in a special way when His people gather to worship Him. In other words, the Lord’s dwelling place is with His church. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” (Matt. 18:20). John Calvin knew this, and he knew that it applied to the church. He wrote, “Those who desire Christ’s presence will meet in his name.” Conversely, “Whoever either neglects the sacred assemblies or separates himself from his brethren . . . demonstrates by this fact that he cares nothing for Christ’s presence.” Do you love Christ’s presence? Then meet to worship Him with His church.

When the Apostle Paul heard about gross sexual immorality within the church of Corinth, he instructed them: “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:4–5). Excommunication from the church was synonymous with being handed over to Satan, because, as Paul taught earlier in the letter, “You [plural] are God’s temple and . . . God’s Spirit dwells in you” (3:16).

We should long to be present with the Lord in His house. May that longing for His dwelling place cause us to commit ourselves to the place where His Spirit dwells—the church of Jesus Christ.

Peace in the Early Church

The Healing of Aeneas

Keep Reading Waiting on the Lord

From the April 2024 Issue
Apr 2024 Issue