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God's House

MAGNIFY  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Working Definition for this Series:
Working Definition for this Series:
“Recognizing Who God is, and responding appropriately.”
ESV
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Anytime we recognize God for who he is, there is a response: Here through the lens of the book of Psalms…
GOD’S HOUSE –
ESV
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah
Recognition of God—in His dwelling place: and meeting HIM there
Prayer

1. A Journey to Joy

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

The sons of Korah were a family of worship leaders appointed by David.
A Processional Hymn
used in three Psalm titles- ; ; ; a song title used for the Feast of Tabernacles
Each year, the people were to make a pilgrimage to the central place of worship for the various feasts. The Feast of Tabernacles was supposed to be a feast to remind the people of how God took care of them in the wilderness when they came out of Egypt.
It’s likely that this song was written for those pilgrimages. It is a song of anticipation, longing for God’s presence.
“The purpose of singing this psalm is to cultivate that delight, to open the eyes and hearts of God’s people to the staggering privilege of being a welcome guest in God’s own house, and to write deep into their souls the conviction that wickedness offers no reward that can even remotely compare to the joy and pleasure of God’s house.”
-ESV Study Bible
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Expectancy—Anticipation

faintethkalah – (Qal) be at an end; to be spent, be used up; to waste away, be exhausted, fail

3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah
“The marvel is that God’s house is a welcoming place; if even the sparrow finds a home there, and the swallow too, then the humble and faithful Israelite need not fear that God will turn him away. those who dwell in your house.”
-ESV Study Bible
Commonly today, God’s House is seen as the church gathering or service – but I would ask you today: do you approach it with the same “Journey to Joy” as we see here?
Spurgeon: “Some need to be whipped to church, while here is David crying for it.”
Can I ask—Have we made God’s House something it’s not? Is it a chore? A burden? Is it anything but A JOY?
Finding joy in the journey depends on what you’re thirsty for.
Where is God’s House now?
There is yet another recognition we need to keep in mind:

2. Church is Where You Are

Main Thought: God’s House is You, God’s Church is HIS People
church n
1. a building for public worship, especially in the Christian religion
4. church or Church religious authority as opposed to the authority of the state
5. church or Church all the followers of a religion, especially the Christian religion, considered collectively
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
The localized presence of God and God’s glory among his people is central to the unfolding story of the Old Testament. This “sacred geography” includes:
Eden (),
Bethel (),
Sinai (; ; ; ; ; ; ; cf. ),
Shiloh (; ; ; ).
ark of the covenant, in the tabernacle, and in Solomon’s temple, God’s house and in Jerusalem
Fisk, B. N. (1996). Building. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 76). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Although Israel knew well that God could not be confined to this earth, much less a man-made dwelling they experienced God among them in specific, holy places.
Fisk, B. N. (1996). Building. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 76). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
But when Jesus came along, a new perspective is added!
Jesus’ promise to build his church echoes God’s promise to Israel in the Old Testament
(; cf. ).
For John, Jesus is the new tabernacle (1:14) and temple (2:19–21) of God.
Fisk, B. N. (1996). Building. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 77). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
After Jesus’ resurrection, ascension and release of the Holy Spirit, the focus now shifts to God’s presence (dwelling place) being with His people
ESV
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
So now, the Church, God’s dwelling place, is no longer perceived as being within the four walls of a building, but rather inside the hearts of those who believe Jesus to be their savior.
Paul makes reference to our bodies being temples:
ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
So when we start to see ourselves as dwelling places of the Lord, it changes our perspective of a bit doesn’t it?
The same needs to be said for the church. We need to see church, not as a building, but as God’s House built upon His people. We are His extension to an unknowing world.
When we gather together, the presence of the God should be increased because the spirit of the Lord is with us—a true sanctuary, a safe harbor, where we can worship God in unity.
And when we exit this building, we are still the church!
Church is where you are, we should see…

3. The Church as Strength

I recognize there are varying experiences—but this is the original design for church
ESV
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
The psalmist here realized that walking with God is a “Journey”, and it is one that will endure many hardships.
In fact the Valley of Baca is known as the “Valley of Weeping”. Some suggest a literal place, others say it’s an illustration of the dry, desperate seasons we all find ourselves in—either way, God’s dwelling place (His people—His CHURCH) is where we can draw strength.
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.
GittithGittiyth – from “Gath”, a musical term - “a winepress”
For the Winepresses
St. Augustine Commentary:
- We, like grapes on a vine, think we enjoy liberty
- We can be harvested for destruction
- Or we can be harvested and drawn in by God
“so each, as he draweth near to the service of God, findeth that he is come to the winepress; he shall undergo tribulation, shall be crushed, shall be pressed, not that he may perish in this world, but that he may flow down into the storehouses of God.
He hath the coverings of carnal desires stripped off from him, like grape-skins: for this hath taken place in him in carnal desires, of which the Apostle speaks, “Put ye off the old man, and put on the new man.” All this is not done but by pressure: therefore the Churches of God of this time are called winepresses.”
Augustine of Hippo. (1888). Expositions on the Book of Psalms. In P. Schaff (Ed.), A. C. Coxe (Trans.), Saint Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 8, p. 400). New York: Christian Literature Company.
Think of that—the church (YOU!) being an activating agent in seeing others not be pressed into destruction by the “Valley of Weeping” but rather helping them see that God is taking them THROUGH this Valley to HIS dwelling place of strength.
We NEED each other, and to be in this type of community with each other is STRENGTH.
ESV
They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
Remember – God’s dwelling place today is His people – When we gather He is amongst us in a greater way – whether it’s two or two hundred.
But if we’re going to go from strength to strength in the Valley of Weeping it’s going to take us being intentional within our community (bearing our burdens together)—God’s Church.

4. Blessed to Dwell

ESV
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! 10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
When I, the follower of Jesus, acknowledge Jesus as my savior—I become a temple for His Holy Spirit
I simply cannot operate independent of God’s church. There is a strength that is unmatched in the multitude of His people (better is one day)
The blessings of dwelling with God, amongst His church, and what we strive for in this community of faith:
- Safety (harbor of healing)
- Security
- Bearing with and for one another
- Sharpening
- Quickening (launch pad)
Max Lucado writes in his book The Great House of God, “God can be your dwelling place. God wants to be your dwelling place. He has no interest in being a weekend getaway or a Sunday bungalow or a summer cottage. Don’t consider using God as a vacation cabin or an eventual retirement home. He wants you under his roof now and always. He wants to be your mailing address, your point of reference; he wants to be your home.”
ESV
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!
Prayer
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