Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 21 July 19:
– Psalm 84:10 – “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Psalm 84 is identified as “A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.” Korah was the grandson of Kohath, one among the 250 who challenged the rights of Moses and Aaron to the priesthood as recorded in Numbers 16. You may recall from Numbers 16 that God wrathfully opened the earth and consumed Korah and all associated with Korah, his household and possessions. (Numbers 16:28-35) However, we learned in Numbers 26 that the sons of Korah did not die; God spared them in His mercy. God purified the house of Korah. Seven generations later, the prophet Samuel arose from the line of Korah (1 Chronicles 6:31-38; 1 Chronicles 38; 1 Samuel 1:1, 20). The Korahites became doorkeepers and custodians for the tabernacle. (1 Chronicles 9:19-21, 1 Chronicles 2) Some became expert warriors and joined King David in various military exploits. (1 Chronicles 12:6) Pertaining to the Psalms, the Korahites became David’s music ministry leaders in the Tabernacle and Temple.
There are many Psalms attributed to the sons of Korah (About 25). All mirror the same heart for the Lord that is revealed today in Psalm 84. For example, you may have been touched by Psalm 42:1 — “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” – another testimony of how much the Sons of Korah loved the Lord. The Psalms written by the Sons of Korah are not just platitudes but are rather deep expressions of praise which come from their real encounters with God, having experienced God’s wrath, but also His mercy and grace. For example, with Exodus and Numbers 16 in mind, we have a greater appreciation for the heart behind Psalm 46:1-3: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” The heart of the Korahites so beautifully revealed in the Psalms is a heart of genuine gratitude, praise, and worship that comes from true salvation.
The Korahites were descendants of men who “despised” God, an infamous group who brought a level of wrath from God the likes of which the people had never seen before (“something new” — Numbers 16:28-35). The ignoble beginnings of the Korahites were, of course, known by all and recorded for eternity in the Bible. But more importantly, what was also evident to all and recorded in the Bible for eternity is what God did in the Korahite family through the Sons of Korah. God’s justice combined with His mercy and love transformed the Korahites, and this is their very public testimony that brings great glory to God. The Sons of Korah loved much because they had been forgiven much. They could not help but proclaim their love in both word and deed. As Paul Harvey use to say, “Now you know… the rest of the story.” Perhaps you have a similar testimony. Your story of salvation brings glory to God when you proclaim it publicly. Your story is your witness of the Truth of God. Proclaim it with passion today!
Is Jesus your ultimate desire and your joy? Is he your strength? Do you trust him implicitly? Do you long for a heart that is more desiring of God, more loving of God, and more obedient to God? Perhaps, like me, you can relate to the man who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)!” I am struck by the fact that it is God that softens our hearts and gives us a heart that seeks Him (Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26), while at the same time, God’s greatest command to us is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).” In fact, the Bible warns us to “be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God (Joshua 23:11).” God gives us the ability to love Him and to love others, and God also gives us the responsibility to do both. But if I have the desire to love, do I need a command to love? No. In perfect love, there is no need for commands, and obedience is inevitable. As John said, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).” But in our imperfection, God’s commands guide us in our sanctification and our pursuit of love – they are a lamp unto our feet as we seek to walk with God. Paul reminds us that we have to “fight the good fight” and “pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) Give thanks that God in His grace has enabled and equipped us to grow in our love for Him and for others.
– Jeremiah 29:13 — You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 21 July 19: Share your testimony with someone today.