In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
Over the past few
Lessons From the Psalms, we have
seen that the book, subdivided into five parts, was seen to parallel the
five books of Moses, with the theme of the first book, comprised of
Psalms 1-41, focussing on man and
his relationship with God, and the second book, comprised of
Psalms 42-72, focussing on God's
The third book is comprised of 17 Psalms,
73-89. David wrote only one of
Psalm 86. Heman the Ezraite wrote
Psalm 88, and Ethan the Ezraite is
believed to have written
Psalms 73-83 are attributed to
Asaph, a descendant of the musical guild in the temple known as the
Asaphites. The rest are attributed to the Korahites, members of the
branch of temple singers who were descended from Korah. This third book
is thought to parallel the book of Leviticus. This may be due, at least
in part, to the fact that most of the Psalms were written by Levitical
priests to be sung by the temple choirs. The overriding theme of these
Psalms is the holiness of God, reminding us that we must remember our
place before Him, coming into His presence with reverential fear.
A key example of this theme can be found in
Psalm 84. Written for the choir
director by descendants of Korah, the introduction states that it is to
be accompanied by stringed instruments, giving us the impression that
the intent of the writer was for the song to be sung in the temple
choirs. The Psalm helps us to understand one important fact: God, in His
holiness, needs to be our #1 priority.
"How lovely is your
O Lord of Heaven's Armies.
I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole
being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the
living God." (Vs. 1-2 NLT)
Only when God is #1 in our lives,
when He is our first love, should we come into His presence. Only when
He holds this place in our hearts will we long to come before
This theme is further revealed in the next few verses:
"Even the sparrow finds a home,
the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your
O Lord of Heaven's Armies, my King
and my God!" (Vs. 3-4 NLT)
Coming before God for any other
reason than because we desire to be in His presence would be a mockery
to Him. He loves us infinitely, enough to die on a cruel cross so that
we can be with Him (See
Rom. 5:8-10). His ultimate desire
is that we long for Him as much as He longs for us (See
How can we know
if our priorities are aligned properly? Here are some clues:
"What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
What joy for
those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem."
(Vs. 5-6 NLT)
When God is our #1, His praises will be
spontaneously on our lips. We will be dependent upon Him for our
strength, and our hearts will be set on spending time with Him.
This isn't only for the good times, either:
walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will
clothe it with blessings.
They will continue
to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in
Jerusalem." (Vs. 6-7 NLT)
These verses help us understand
that God's blessings are especially for when we are suffering.
It is the autumn rains that will clothe us with blessings, and
it is those who are suffering who will grow stronger,
and who will be granted the ultimate of blessings: to appear before
Another sign that God is our #1 priority is we will
want to be with Him:
"A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a
gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the
good life in the homes of the wicked." (Vs. 9-10 NLT)
why shouldn't He be our first priority? Why shouldn't He merit our
utmost praise and reverential fear?
"For the Lord God is our
sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
who do what is right.
O Lord of Heaven's Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you." (Vs. 11-12 NLT)
are times in my life when God seems so abstract. I've noted however,
that these times all have one important thing in common: They always
happen when I have allowed something to avert my eyes from Jesus.
Maybe some earthly thing has captured my desire, or some bad
circumstance seems to be robbing me of my blessing. Or maybe I am simply
too busy with the mundane responsibilities of life to even remember
there is a God. The point is, whenever we take our eyes off of Him, we
risk becoming apathetic, completely blinded to the joy that is ours when
we enter into true, reverential worship of our all-powerful,
ever-righteous Creator, our all loving, just Almighty God.
you find that your heart isn't necessarily yearning for the presence of
the Lord, I urge you to meditate upon
Psalm 84. I guarantee that you will
come away completely changed, with your priorities realigned in the
Heavenly direction and with your heart filled with reverential fear of
Hey, my priorities may need some realigning at the
moment. I am perhaps a bit too focused on an upcoming move. Maybe I will
take a few moments and meditate on
Psalm 84 as well…
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Lessons From the Psalms" mini-series,