The question is not how beautiful your church building is. The important thing is not where do you meet, but Whom do you meet? When the psalmist wrote in Psalm 84:1, 2, “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God,” he is not thinking of the earthly beauty of the temple with its gold, delicate carvings, and beautiful tapestry. Notice that he states, “My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” It is God whom he wants to meet.
He writes about God’s courts and tabernacle because there the everywhere-present God meets man in a special way. There He meets man not simply in His providence but in His grace in Christ His Son.
All over in the tabernacle and temple were types and shadows of Christ, but especially in the Holy of Holies, that secret place behind the veil, where God dwelt symbolically between the cherubim on the mercy seat.
There was God’s mercy, for there was Christ’s blood, that paid for all our sins, sprinkled on the mercy seat. In that tabernacle God said, “I love you; and my mercy is upon you.” Therefore that tabernacle was amiable, that is, lovely, because there God revealed His love in Christ.
That same truth we ought to see in the place where we worship God. Never mind the surroundings. Let not the earthly beauty or crudeness keep you from seeing God as in Christ He is preached. Now that Christ suffered, died, and is risen from the dead in victory over sin, we hear more clearly and powerfully of God’s love and mercy than the Old Testament saints did in the temple. Hearing Christ preached you can sing:
How lovely, Lord of Hosts, to me
The tabernacles of Thy grace:
O how I long, yea, faint to see
Thy hallowed courts; Thy dwelling place;
For Thee my heart and spirit sigh,
For Thee, O living God, I cry.
Do you look forward to going to church on the Sabbath Day? God will be there in His love and mercy where Christ is preached. Go then, and meet Him. The veil has been rent in twain. And He will reveal Himself in Christ in the word preached.
Read: Psalm 84
Psalter versification: 229:1
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.