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2019 Fast – I’d Rather be a Doorkeeper in the House of God

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!
Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!

One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin. Ps. 84:1-4, 10 MSG

Last week as we prayed at church, someone made mention of the Psalmist’ infamous line, “I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,” and it really hit me, this guy really loved going to church! One Saturday, awhile back, I was in my office preparing for Sunday’s message. We also had outreach and couple of other things going on that day. It seemed like I spent a lot of time in the house of the Lord that day. Then I thought about the rest of what the Psalmist said, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.” A popular song came to mind which said it this way, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” I begin to think of how peaceful it was in there. I also thought of the how just popping in for a few minutes when no one is even there, there was a tangible anointing. Not so much that I felt anything, but that in the quietness there my thoughts turned toward God and his presence. I noticed that at times, it is easier to get prayers through there and to hear his voice.

To say that the psalmist liked to go to church would be an understatement. The MSG reveals his heart that he actually wanted a room in God’s house. It seems that he was a little jealous of the birds and how they have moved in and even get a front row seat! Although the peace and presence in God’s house is so special, the psalmist wanted to do more than just sit. He was so glad to first have access into the house, and secondly to have an assignment. I have often equated doorkeeping to what we would call ushering or a being a greeter. Here again the MSG goes a bit further. The psalmist says he would rather be scrubbing floors in the house of his God than to be an honored guest at the palace of sin.

Maybe the use of the word “access into the house” doesn’t do justice to what the psalmist is saying here either. Have you ever been put out or without a place to stay? If you were put out long enough to he humbled, when granted access, or a place to stay, remember how willing and even glad to do whatever chores you were assigned? Who knows, you may have even volunteered to take out the trash. It would be like an attitude shift of a teenage who one day made up their beds and cleaned their room without having to be told! And then the parents breakout in a happy dance. Why? Because the teenager’s action showed gratitude. Or maybe you have taken in people off the streets before, and they were glad to wash the dishes and take out the trash just because you were nice enough to give them a place to stay. They too showed and attitude of gratitude.

Think about it, a doorkeeper in the house of God or an honored guest in the palace of sin. In other words, we have a choice of being in the house of God or the house of the devil. When I hear the verse about how God’s anointing removes the burden and destroys the yoke, I always feel we miss a key point. Isaiah said that “it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken off of thy neck, and his yoke from off of thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing (Isa. 10:27).” Notice the personal pronoun he uses twice in that sentence, his. Who is he talking about? None of us have been saved all of our lives! The devil has a burden and a yoke, and it certainly isn’t light! When you have been delivered from the devil’s bondage and God grants you access into the kingdom of his dear Son, you don’t mind doing whatever God asked you to do. That is the reason Paul said, “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God … (Rom 12:1 NIV).” In other words, to offer our bodies to do his service is the only holy, acceptable, and pleasing choice.

Let us pray today, Lord help us to long to be in your house again. Lord help us to be truly grateful that you have granted us access into your kingdom and be glad to do any task that you give us to do.