|Volume 18 Number 8 August 2016
Psalm 84 is a song about desiring the Lord and the blessings obtained from the Lord. The author says it is wonderful to be in the house of the Lord. It is wonderful to dwell there. It is wonderful to praise Him there.
A man’s strength can be found in the Lord. One man can give strength to another man if they dwell in the house of the Lord.
The author asks God to look down upon him. He calls God his shield. The author says one day in the Lord’s court is better than a thousand anywhere else. The author would rather be a lowly doorman in God’s house than dwell in the magnificent tents of a wicked man.
Then in verse 11, we read, “For the Lord is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” There is a parallelism used in the verse. Sun is equal to grace. The sun represents the warmth and growth inducing light that comes from God through His grace. Only through His grace do we have the Bible so that we can know what to do to please Him. Only from His grace do we have the opportunity to contact the blood of Christ and be acceptable in His sight.
Shield is equal to glory. The shield represents His Kingship. As soldiers in His army, we are allowed to carry the shield that protects us from harm that could be inflicted by our enemies. As His soldiers, we triumphantly carry the shield representing His victory over all enemies. There is great glory to the King and His victorious army!
The verse ends by saying that nothing good will be withheld from those that walk according to His rules. One cannot claim to have grace and glory if one does not walk as a good soldier and if one does not place himself in the Light.
Study your Bible. Obey the Lord. Be able to claim Him as your sun and shield. Have pleasure in His grace and glory. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
The etymology of the word “opportunity” is interesting. It is a compound of “before” and “port” or “harbor.” Originally this nautical term signified ships poised before a harbor, waiting their turn to enter.
We may liken our lives to a sea voyage, and periodically we find ourselves at the mouth of a port of call. We each pilot our own vessels. The decision to take advantage of various opportunities is ours to make. Some opportunities should wisely be rejected, while others are golden.
The late A.G. Freed wrote, “The secret of all success is pre-pared-ness.” He also quoted Lincoln as having said, “I’ll prepare myself and maybe the opportunity will present itself.”
We can readily pamper ourselves when the chance arises. However, spiritually mature people look beyond themselves. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10). When was the last time you took advantage of an opportunity to help someone else?
Mr. Freed wrote of a legendary story to illustrate a point. A fair maiden was standing at the edge of a large cornfield in the early morn. A genie came and gave her these instructions. Your journey across the field is one day. As you pass along you may pluck but one ear of corn. The size of the ear you pluck will determine the amount of special power you will receive. You cannot stop and may not retrace a single step. She begins her walk, looking intently at the ears. They are full and large. But she hesitates to pluck now; eager to find one larger. Gradually she notices that the plants are becoming thinner and the ears smaller. “She disdains now to gather one of the little insignificant ears that she might see.” Evening comes, she has crossed the field, and has not taken a single ear.
Life is a brief day’s journey. Youth has many and wonderful opportunities. They grow fewer and less useful as we pass. When an opportunity to do good is before you – grasp it! Most of all, learn from the New Testament what God desires for you, and obey while you have the mind and the strength.