Sparrows and Swallows
Psalm 84:3
Yes, the sparrow has found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, O LORD of hosts…

These birds found in the sanctuary what we would find in God.

I. HOUSES FOR THEMSELVES. That they should find houses in and around the Lord's house is remarkable, and David dwelt on it with pleasure.

1. Consider what they were. Sparrows.

(1)  Worthless creatures. Five for two farthings.

(2)  Needy creatures, requiring both nests, food, and everything else.

(3)  Uninvited guests. The Temple did not need them, it might have been all the better without them.

(4)  Numerous creatures; but none were driven away.

2. Consider what they did. "Found a house" — a comfortable, suitable abode.

(1)  They looked for it, or they could not have been described as having found it.

(2)  It was there already, or they could not have found it.

(3)  They appropriated it. Their right lay in discovery; they found a house and occupied it without question. O for an appropriating faith!

3. Consider what they enjoyed. Safety, Rest, Abode, Delight, Society, Nearness. All this in the house of God, hard by His altars. Thus do believers find all in Christ Jesus. And so, secondarily, they find the same things in the assembly of the saints, in the place where God's honour dwelleth. We come to the house of the Lord with joy. We remain in it with delight. We sit and sing in it with pleasure. We commune with our fellow-songsters with much content.


1. Some persons are not so much in need of a house fez themselves; for, like swallows, they live on the wing, and are active and energetic; but they need a nest for their young, for whom they are greatly anxious. They long to see the young people settled, happy, and safe in God. Children should be housed in the house of God. The sanctuary of God should be the nursery of the young.

(1) They will be safe there, and free there. The swallow, the "bird of liberty," is satisfied to find a nest for herself near the altars of God. She is not afraid of bondage there either for herself or her young.

(2) They will be joyful there. We should try to make our little ones happy in God, and in His holy worship. Dull Sabbaths and dreary services should not be mentioned among us.

(3) They are near the blessing when we bring them near the house of the Lord.

(4) They are in choice society; their companions will be the companions of Jesus.

(5) They are likely to return to the nest, as the swallows do; even as the young salmon return to the rivulet where they were hatched. Young folks remember their first impressions.

(6) Children truly brought to Christ have every blessing in that fact. They are rich: they dwell in God's palace. They are educated: they abide in the Lord's temple. They are safe for time and eternity.

2. The second blessing of a nest for our young often follows on the first, or getting a house for ourselves. But it needs prayer, example, and precept. Children do not take to religion as ducks to water: they must be led and trained with earnest care. Are you sighing after Christ for yourself and your children? Are you content without Christ? Then you are not likely to care about your children. Do you already possess a home in Jesus? Rest not till all yours are housed in the same place.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

WEB: Yes, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God.

Sparrows and Altars
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