Dwell in Your House (Psalm 130)

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Service Notes

  • Order of Service: Divine Service 4
  • Hymns: LSB #608, 421, 627, 761, 809

Theme Verse

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise (v4).

Sermon Text

"When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and named them Man when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in HIS OWN LIKENESS, after HIS IMAGE, and named him Seth" (Genesis 5:1-3). These are the opening lines to the second of the genealogies written in the Bible. Clear in these lines is that we are not now what we were created to be. That our dwelling is not in God's house but our own. Everyone has a hole in their soul. A longing desire for acceptance. It's part of our human nature. Our image of Adam. In this image, we understand that something is missing. We also understand Psalm 84's declaration: "Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise" (v4). We seek to dwell in God's house. In faith, we seek to sing His praise. But how do we get into God's house? How do we reconcile our desire for entrance with God's strict demands in His Word? We must first find the TRUE entrance to God's house through His Word. We can't dwell in God's house if we don't find the front door. There is only one entrance. Jesus says, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9). When we "fix our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), we find the front door. The door we long to enter through. Not just the privilege to enter. That was given to us in our Baptism. We long to actually enter God's house. "My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD" (v2). Our souls long for God's courts because they know the blessings included in being able to approach the holy and righteous God. The biggest problem in our Christian life is a misunderstanding of this longing. We long for the day that we will enter through the pearly gates and walk the streets of gold (Revelation 21:18, 21). Nothing wrong with that. But we stop thinking there. We think we just have to sit around and wait until we're "called up." But we get tired of waiting. And that's where we fall into temptation. "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man" (1 Corintihians 10:13). Everyone is tempted. Waiting brings us our greatest temptation. We're not sure WHAT we're supposed to do. That's the temptation yielded to by those who are rarely, if ever, in worship. They are tempted to think that their Baptism or their Confirmation automatically gets them into Heaven. So there's no need to gather with the saints and worship. This temptation is not new. The writer to the Hebrews points it out in the first century (10:25). The misunderstanding about entering God's presence is a mind-boggling one. Because we enter into God's presence every time we come together for worship. We are in God's presence now. Jesus says, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I among them" (Matthew 18:20). When we come together to worship God, He comes into our assembly. He makes Himself dwell among us. This sanctuary becomes "the courts of the LORD" (v2). "A day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere" (v10). Even in the Ten Commandments, God only demands one day from us to worship Him. But that one day is far better than the other six in the week. The Psalmist would even say a thousand times better. Because God comes to be among us. He shows us mercy by coming to us, as He did in the flesh of His Son, calling us His priests. His followers. His children. "How lovely is Your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts" (v2). There is no other place we should rather be. No other place brings us the blessings and the promises that this place does. Nowhere else can you find what you need for this life and for eternity. Satan tries to drag so many other things into our lives to distract us from coming together to worship. To tempt us to think we don't need to be in worship. That other places are more lovely than God's dwelling place. But God's dwelling is the most beautiful place. So many great Gospel hymns have been written about the beauty of Heaven. And we have Heaven on earth as we gather together here. What do we do here? "Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise" (v4). We sing God's praise in everything we do. We begin our worship, before invoking God's name, in a state of confession. Confessing that we are not worthy for God to enter our assembly. Begging Him to have mercy upon us and dwell among us. "Lord, to You I make confession ... Lord, on You I cast my burden. ... Let Your Spirit leave me never; make me only Yours forever" (LSB #608). As we hear God's Word read and prepare to hear it proclaimed, we seek God's blessing upon us through that Word. "Jesus, grant that balm and healing in Your holy wounds I find, every hour that I am feeling pains of body and of mind. ... Every wound that pains or grieves me by Your wounds, Lord, is made whole" (LSB #421). As we end our worship, receiving God's blessing and peace, we thank Him for His "faithfulness, mercy and love." "Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed Thy hand hath provided; great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me" (LSB #809). Everything we do in worship revolves around ever singing God's praise. In our praise, we find ourselves in our true place and calling as God's child. We are servants. "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked" (v10). Our calling as Christians are to be little Christs. "The Son of Man came not TO BE SERVED but TO SERVE, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). To be a Christian you must be a servant. And we praise God for the ability to serve in His house. The service of doorkeeper is that of a disciple-maker. The doorkeeper shows people where they need to enter the house. So God calls each of us to be watchmen and doorkeepers (Ezekiel 33:7; Psalm 84:10). "Whenever you hear a word from [God's] mouth, you shall give them warning" (Ezekiel 33:7). Your calling as a Christian is to serve by teaching. And this teaching means taking God's Word and teaching it to those around us who don't know it. Jesus tells the entire Church, "While you are going, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). This disciple-making begins in the home. As the Catechism tells us, "As the head of the household should teach it to the family." "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers," Paul tells us. "These things happened to them as an example, but they were WRITTEN DOWN for OUR INSTRUCTION, on whom the end of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:1-11). "The end of the ages has come" upon us. We are living in the End Times. The book of Revelation is coming to pass even more quickly in our time than it has in times before. The time is becoming shorter to make disciples. But it's also becoming harder to make disciples. The devil has done great work in taking God's Word away from people. Discrediting it as best he can. The Word that shows us Jesus, the way of everlasting life. Jesus has made you His disciple so that you may go and make disciples. Being the doorkeeper that shows people the door that leads to everlasting life. The life of those who dwell in God's house, ever singing His praise. Amen. PSALM PRAYER: Praise and thanks to You, Lord our God, because You have granted us Your Word which shows us the way of salvation. By Your Holy Spirit work effectually in us through this Your Word, that it may prove in us a living and fruitful seed bringing a hundredfold, and that the fruit remain to everlasting life. Amen.