Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise!
Selah. Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Psalm 84:4–5
In Old Testament times, it was common for God’s people to long for God’s Temple in Jerusalem—they wanted to “dwell in” God’s house. People were spread throughout the land of Israel, and most people made a visit to the Temple only once a year—if that. They looked forward to going to Jerusalem in the same way we might look forward to attending a church conference or hearing a famous Christian speaker. It was an opportunity for them to experience a “spiritual high.”
This spiritual high is what the Psalmist calls being “blessed,” which simply means to “be happy.”
Happy are those who dwell in God’s house!
Who wouldn’t want to be welcomed in the company of God? Who doesn’t want to feel complete peace and acceptance in His home This is what all of our hearts are longing for.
In Ancient Israel, the people longed to go to a physical location because that was how they experienced God’s presence. Does this mean we should all schedule a trip to the Holy Land? Well… perhaps. But unlike Pastors Albert or Eric, I have not yet been to Jerusalem; that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced the same blessing of God’s presence though.
Jesus has changed things. In the Old Testament, people longed to go towards God’s presence. Now, under the New Covenant, Jesus has brought God’s presence to us!
It used to be that people were blessed if their hearts “longed for Zion,” which meant they longed for the Temple in Jerusalem. But today, we don’t travel to get to Zion, Jesus has brought Zion to us.
We are blessed because Jesus has brought heaven to our hearts. Now we don’t go to His Temple: He has made us His Temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16
Take joy in the truth that God is with you. Even with your busy schedule, God doesn’t require you to go somewhere to connect with Him; instead He invites you to connect with Him wherever you are. It’s not about ascending to some holy location but giving Him the attention of your heart. There is no place you will go today where God is not with you. You can experience His presence, you can experience His joys, wherever you are. This comes not by a place but by the posture of your heart.
Today, we don’t just have the “Highways to Zion” in our hearts but in Christ, we have the God of Zion in our hearts.