Dwelling in the House of the Lord

Key Verse: “How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You.”
—Psalm 84:4, New American Standard Bible

Selected Scripture:
Psalm 84:1-12

THROUGHOUT THE PSALMS we are encouraged to increase our devotion to and love for God. We read, “My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Ps. 84:2, NASB) The psalmist then points out examples from nature, such as birds and swallows who search in order to find a house or nest, and compares this to those seeking after our Heavenly Father.—vs. 3

Our Key Verse begins with the phrase, “How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!” Here the word “dwell” means to remain, and is used elsewhere in the Psalms to describe abiding continually in God’s presence.—Ps. 23:6; 27:4

The word “house,” in the original Hebrew, denotes a fixed or established structure, as opposed to a temporary dwelling place such as a tent. When used in a context associated with God, this Hebrew word also signifies a place of worship, or sanctuary. We read: “You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God.” (Exod. 23:19, NASB) Here the expression “first fruits” is used to symbolically represent those who have accepted the heavenly call during the present Gospel Age, and who are striving to follow in the footsteps of Christ.—Lev. 23:15-20; Rom. 8:23; James 1:18; Rev. 14:4

However, there are conditions and requirements which will enable one to dwell in the house of the Lord. One such requirement is to obey, or “keep,” the words of Jesus. He said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23) Through the psalmist, God identifies another requirement, stating, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”—Ps. 101:7

We will dwell continually in the house of the Lord, “if we hold on to our courage and the hope in which we rejoice.” (Heb. 3:6, International Standard Version) Those who persevere with courage and faith overcome the allurements and temptations of the world. They do this by dying daily to its spirit, hopes and ambitions, and by instead living more and more unto God. Thus, they shall indeed dwell in the house of the Lord—in his holy, spiritual temple, forever. Meanwhile, during the present time they dwell in the holy place of consecration and adoption as children of God.—Rom. 8:12-18

Those who become members, “living stones,” in God’s spiritual house, the heavenly temple now under construction, will indeed dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (I Pet. 2:5, NASB) If proven faithful unto death, they will be a “pillar” in God’s temple, and ministers of his grace and truth to mankind.—Rev. 3:12

Our Key Verse will be true also in the kingdom which will soon come on earth, when all mankind will be invited to come to God in worship. They will be given the opportunity to approach the spiritual temple, the Christ class, and through them to draw near to the Heavenly Father. At that time, all who shall hear the true message of God’s Word and obey it will be glad indeed.—Rev. 21:1-5