THE PSALM OF THE DOORKEEPER
“For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” — Psa_84:10.
THIS PSALM has been a favourite with God’s people in all ages. When Carlyle was leaving, in doubt and despondency, his quiet mountain home at Craigenputtock for the untried tumult of London, he quoted this Psalm for comfort to his brother and himself, saying: “I turn my thoughts heavenwards, for it is in heaven only that I find any basis for our poor pilgrimage on earth. As surely as the blue dome of heaven encircles us all, so does the providence of the Lord of Heaven. ‘He will withhold no good thing from those that love Him.’ This, as it was the ancient Psalmist’s faith, let it likewise be ours. It is the Alpha and Omega, I reckon, of all the possessions that can belong to man.”
In absence and distance, the heart of the true believer turns to God. He believes that he has direct access to Him, and that his prayer will be accepted (Psa_84:8). David, as the anointed King, had the right to ask that God, who was his Shield, should look upon his face; but we have even a better plea, for we may ask that God would look upon the face of His own glorious and beloved Son, and accept us in Him (Psa_84:9).
Let us imitate the humility of this man, and be willing to take the lowest place (Luk_14:10-11); but we must be on our guard against being proud of our humility. Some people take the back seats that they may be asked to come to the front. They mistake the Lord’s words. It is said that there is always room at the top; it is equally true that there is plenty of room at the bottom; and if men and women will really gird themselves with a towel and wash the feet of the disciples, if they are prepared in the literal sense to be doorkeepers and to give themselves in service, they will be allowed to do their work with little praise save that of the King Himself.
To all such lowly souls God gives grace and glory (Psa_84:11). With both hands He will give and give again. Only we must practise the habit of taking. Grace is the bud of which Glory is the flower. If God has given the one, He will not withhold the other from. Psa_84:12). If anything is withheld from us, we may be sure that it is not absolutely for our good. No good thing will the Father withhold; but He will not give us scorpions, however beautiful their appearance; nor stones, though painted to resemble bread.
Teach us to abide with Thee in our daily calling, and to realise that each sphere may be a temple for priestly service. AMEN.