The Beauty of the House of God
Psalm 84:1-12
How amiable are your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!…

I. WHEREIN LIES THE BEAUTY OF THE HOUSE OF GOD? It does not consist in mere outward loveliness. In proportion as one learns to worship God in the spirit he becomes unconcerned about the particular architecture of the building. As a piece of workmanship he may admire it as much as any, but as a place of worship it possesses no more charm than the country barn devoted on the Lord's Day to the preaching of the Gospel. I fear that in the present day reverence for mere bricks and mortar is becoming a very fashionable error. Beauty of design in the sanctuary walls is thought more of than beauty of holiness in sanctuary worship. This is the result of a religion that goes no deeper than the eye sees. But to the man educated of God, mere external symmetry will be powerless to evoke the psalmist's exclamation of "how amiable are Thy tabernacles." He wants something more. Something that touches the inner springs of the soul. A house of God without worship is a fiction and a lie.

II. WHEN THIS BEAUTY IS MOST SEEN. The amiability of God's tabernacle is not always equally perceived. There are times when we are led to utter the words of our text with a deeper emphasis than usual. Seasons when an unprecedented glory fills the house. I will just mention a few times when God's house seems to possess a charm almost beyond description. Certainly we must place first on the list the few Sabbaths immediately following conversion. What a blessed freshness there is about the worship then; it is something so new, so different to any joy experienced before that its very novelty lends enchantment. The beauty of the sanctuary is also wonderful when there is that in the service specially suited go our present experience.

III. THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE BEAUTY IS APPRECIATED, AND THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN APPRECIATE IT AT ALL. The first word of the text gives us an idea of the extent of David's appreciation, and well may the verse close with a note of admiration. The psalmist felt that it was impossible to tell in words the beauty of the place. He could but exclaim "how amiable" and leave it for hearts which have felt the same to fathom the depths of the word. This we know, however, that in his eyes the tabernacle made of skins outshone in beauty all the silken tents of luxury and sin, and one day in its Courts was worth more to him than a thousand spent elsewhere. The "how" defies all measurement and description. The only man who can behold this beauty is also learnt from one word — the little word "thy." It was because the tabernacle was God's that its beauty appeared so great. Now, no alien from God can find a joy in anything because it is God's. He who loves not a person can never see a beauty in that person's house simply because it is his. Affection for the inhabitant must precede love for the habitation.

(A. G. Brown.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.} How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

WEB: How lovely are your dwellings, Yahweh of Armies!

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