DUNCAN/The janitor’s Psalm

DUNCAN/The janitor’s Psalm


When you think of Psalm 84, you probably don’t think of it as a janitor’s song. You might be asking why I’ve titled it, “The Janitor’s Song.” Simply this: This is a Psalm about the sons of Korah, the doorkeepers in the temple. God was so concerned about His worship that He even told the janitors where they were supposed to stand and be in the approach to the temple of the Lord. Their labors may have been menial, their station may not have been exalted, but they loved being in the house of God.

There are three blessings I would like you to focus on in this Psalm. First, in verses 1 – 4, I want you to see the blessing of dwelling in God’s house. Secondly, in verses 5 – 8, I want you to see the blessing of having God as our strength and desire. And then, thirdly, in verses 9 – 12, I want you to see the blessing of the Lord’s provision and protection.

I. The Blessing of Dwelling in God’s House 

First of all, in verses 1 – 4, notice how he focuses your attention on the blessedness of dwelling in God’s house, especially when God’s people are gathered for worship. The psalmist is saying that the people who get to be in the house of God and praise Him are blessed. The people who long for God, who long to know God are the ones who are truly blessed.

That’s so important in our day and age. More and more churches in the United States are realizing that fewer and fewer people are interested in worshiping God when they come to church, and so church leaders are coming up with other things for churchgoers to do when they attend worship services. And I want you to notice that God’s pronouncement of blessedness is not upon them. His pronouncement of blessedness is upon the one who longs to be communing with the people of God in worship.

And that’s the lesson for us out of this Psalm. We don’t have a temple to go to anymore, but we can worship, because God’s house is not a beautiful building built by Solomon in Jerusalem. God’s house is you. And wherever God’s people gather, whether in a parking lot or a gymnasium or a sanctuary, when God’s people gather for worship, you are God’s house. And the psalmist is saying there is no place on God’s green earth that he would rather be than in the temple of the Lord praising His name. And for the new covenant believer, we find our fullest satisfaction in worship. It’s our joy. We long to be with God. And the psalmist is saying that that is true blessedness. That’s the person who understands life’s true purpose, who has experienced the fullness of joy, and has found deep satisfaction.

II. The Blessing of God as Our Strength and Desire 

There’s a second blessing that he mentions. In verses 5 – 8, the psalmist speaks of the blessedness of having the Lord as our strength and desire. Notice here how he focuses on other men whose dependence and delight are in the Lord. The Lord is his strength. In other words, he understands that it’s God who holds him up. It is God who supplies to him the ability to put one foot in front of another, to keep on going, to keep on serving. He is utterly dependent upon the Lord. The Lord must supply the strength to him if he is to live the life of faith, and the man who is dependent on the strength of the Lord is supplied the strength of the Lord.

Now think of the contrast. So often we celebrate the person who is independent, self-sufficient, and autonomous. The “self-made man” was a great myth of nineteenth and twentieth century America: the man who doesn’t depend on anybody; the man who has done it on his own. And the psalmist says in utter contrast, “No, the man who is blessed is the man whose strength doesn’t come from himself, it’s supplied by the Lord. Blessed is that man whose strength is in You, O Lord. You supply the power of his life.”

And furthermore, notice what else he says: “In whose heart are the highways to Zion!” In his heart there are highways that lead him to God. That’s his ultimate goal. He wants to know God, he wants fellowship with God. In his heart there’s this single-minded focus on communing with God. And the psalmist says that’s the blessed man. There’s one thing that he wants, and that is to see the beauty of the Lord. There’s one thing he wants: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. His dependence and delight are in the Lord.

And the psalmists — these janitors at the temple — they understand what the believer delights in. The believer delights in the Lord, and therefore his heart is a highway to worship to God. That’s the blessed man: one who depends on the Lord and who delights in the Lord. He goes from strength to strength, and he appears before God in Zion. That’s his reward. He wants to be with God, and God gives him that blessing.

III. The Blessing of God’s Provision and Protection

But there’s a third blessing, and you see it in verses 9 – 12, and this is the blessing of trusting in the Lord. Life’s true purpose, its fullest joy, its deepest satisfaction is found in trusting the Lord’s provision and protection.

Notice how it goes in verse 9: “Behold our shield, O God, and look upon the face or Your anointed.” And in verse 11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” You see, he’s celebrating the Lord’s provision and the Lord’s protection. God guards us against the assaults of our enemies. And the psalmist is blessed because he trusts in this Lord who provides and protects. Don’t you love the way he says in verse 10, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness?”

He understands that this God is everything to him. God has given him everything he needs. He has supplied his deepest needs and desires; and, therefore, God Himself is his great desire, the one thing that he needs. And so he would rather be serving as a janitor in the house of the Lord. He’d rather be there than in the midst of all the riches of the tents of wickedness, because they can’t compare to what God has given him. And so he wants to be with God, because God is his provision and protection. May God grant us hearts like them to be together in the worship of God.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions