The Priest and the Pilgrim
Psalm 84:4
Blessed are they that dwell in your house: they will be still praising you. Selah.

1. The means of grace are prized in proportion to the difficulty or danger in the way of their enjoyment. The Scottish Covenanters would not be absent from public worship, although to be present at a conventicle was to brave not only oftentimes winter cold and storm under the open sky, but as well the cruel death that threatened them as law-breakers. Shall we not appear to our less favoured brethren to be the spoilt children of too many mercies?

2. The psalmist's utterance also illustrates the universal disposition among men to think they see in the lot assigned to others benefits and advantages greater than anything they themselves enjoy. Much of this discontent and murmuring has no better justification than an erroneous estimate of the prosperity and happiness of others. A little reflection would show it to be unworthy and mean-spirited. Instead of saying, "Happy are those others," and allowing discontent to embitter our spirit, let us look around, and, seeing what others lack and suffer, say gratefully, "Happy are we." Not envy, but loving, self-forgetting sympathy will be the passion stirred in our hearts. The pilgrim is not justified in supposing that those who remain in God's house are so much better off religiously than himself. After all, it is not constant and close association with sacred things that makes a man blessed. The following three verses (5-7) effectively enforce this lesson. They are best understood as the reply of the Temple ministers to the pilgrim's exclamation, "Happy are they that dwell in Thy house!" These do not seek to make out that they are not happy, but with quiet dignity they perform the useful and needful service of drawing the man's attention to his own happiness. "Nay," say they, "not only those who dwell in God's house are happy. Happy is every man whose strength the Lord is, and very specially such as are pilgrims on the highways with. gladness in their heart." The pilgrim limits the conditions of happiness unduly. All who put their trust in God, pilgrims like himself, are as fortunate as they. Happy is the priest and happy is the pilgrim!

(A. S. Laidlaw, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

WEB: Blessed are those who dwell in your house. They are always praising you. Selah.

The Blessedness of Dwelling in God's House
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