Psalm 84:10, “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 live in the tents of wickedness.”
I have this thing about period films. We have Netflix and my idea of a good day is adding all of the pre-20th century films to my queue and staying in bed. I love the romance and grandeur of these films.
My mom and I were having a talk one day and she said that she missed her time. She wanted to live then (Pride and Prejudice with Mr. Darcy, specifically), in one of those magnificent homes. Servants are bustling around, catering to your every need. You do have many obligations but most of them are social and decoration, categorically. Oh, and the burden of having people help you look amazing all of the time. It seems like a hard time, doesn’t it?
After this fantasy led phone call, I started thinking that no one ever says, “I wish that I could be a part of the majority of people who lived pre-20th century”. They were dirt poor, living in cities or on farms. They worked their fingers to the bone, and were subject to real pandemics, not like our disappointing swine flu. They had disease and plagues, and infestations. It was a really hard life. That is not so romantic. No wonder everyone in these films is obsessed with social advancement. You might live longer.
Keep in mind, also, that there were not modern conveniences. Riding in a carriage made you sore and tired. It was a brutal way to travel, but faster than walking and pulling a cart, yourself. Since I cannot imagine my mom pulling a cart, I think that she really wants to move into a fully modernized and restored old home with a staff to take care of everything. That is getting to be more idealic.
Sometimes we compare our idealic with the expectation of heaven. At this point in my life, I just think that heaven is beyond idealism. It comes with an increasing awareness of how small my brain really is.
In heaven, there is no time. There is no hardship or disease. We will not have to think about money or class structure. There is no better and no worse. We will be in the presence of the Father, Son and Spirit day-in and day-out. We will worship Him, continually. We will be in His sanctuary.
This passage of scripture was a part of the sermon, yesterday. I heard this and thought, what if I was not guaranteed the “beyond idealism” of heaven? What if this life was not headed to mansions and pearly gates? What if I could be simply a doorkeeper in the house of my God?
A doorkeeper is interesting because in scripture we see that there were doorkeepers assigned. 1 Chronicles 9:19, “Shallum son of Kore, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, and his kindred of his ancestral house, the Korahites, were in charge of the work of the service, guardians of the thresholds of the tent, as their ancestors had been in charge of the camp of the Lord, guardians of the entrance.”
Doorkeepers are people kept at the threshold. They do not go inside. They do not enter the sanctuary.
My conclusion, sitting in my pew, yesterday…I would still rather be there, not entering the courts of my God, than in the tents of the wicked.
This passage stokes the passion in me for what I believe. The courts of God are the best place for me, for us. They are the “beyond ideal”. We cannot imagine a place of no want, only complete satisfaction in His presence. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. Any number of days there are better than anywhere else I could be.
Spending time with Him each day in the sanctuary of His word and in prayer is better than anywhere else I could be. Submitting to His will every day is better than anything else that I can be doing.
It makes me cry out, “God, I want you more than anything you can give me, even the promises of heaven. I want simply to be in your presence and if that means that I sit on the threshold of heaven and never enter the sanctuary, I still want to be with you.”
To simply want Him more. Let’s tell Him that today.
Father, thank you for the promises of heaven. Thank you for the sanctuary that you provide for us while we are here on earth. Open up our hearts to simply want you today.