Standing at the Door of the House of God. What Helps Us Endure Through Trials?

Published on 23 February 2024 at 13:07

“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalm 84:10)

Here, in this passage, we see King David acknowledging the value of being close to God and having a relationship with Him. He says that a day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. When we talk of God’s courts and house, we are not talking of a physical temple or place. In some cases, it might be so, but in this case, David is referring to God’s presence. This is also the meaning and the direction of this psalm. He says in v.2:

“My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Psalm 84:2)

He craves to be close to the Lord; he wants to be close to Him. This is what the Lord’s house represents – His presence. Still, there is something curious in the second part of v. 10 we mentioned above:

“…I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

He says that he prefers to be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwelling in the tents of wickedness. Other versions, like NASV, LEB, HCSV, etc., say that he prefers to be at the door or the threshold of the house of God. Also, the Greek version refers to standing outside of the house. Even using the word “doorkeeper” as a reference means anyway that a person stands at the door of the house and not inside. There are times in the life of the believer when he will not be close to God. He will not be inside the house of God. He will feel God’s presence far from him. Yet we know that God is close to us, but still, at times, because of a personal situation we live in or a doubt, we feel as if we are at the door. What does a person standing at the door do? He knocks so that it can be open to him; he seeks so that it can be answered to him. As it is written in Matthew 7:7, 8:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

This is what we need to do continuously when we see we are out of the Lord's house. He is willing to receive us. We just need to keep on knocking and seeking. This is a situation of trial, a situation in which we humble ourselves and plead God for His assistance. A believer goes through such situations. He often needs to humble himself and ask God for forgiveness and help. He also humbles himself to ask other people for forgiveness. The Bible says that whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12). This may not occur in its full form now on the earth, but one day in heaven, those who humbled will be exalted. Still, I am not saying that a believer will always go through tough times, and there will always be trials. I am just saying that whoever is a believer will surely experience those moments in his life. Moments in which he doesn't find an answer straight away and feels under pressure but keeps on knocking and seeking. It will be eventually opened to him, and He will find an answer, but always in God’s way. What is interesting in this part of the verse is that the psalmist says that even though he is at the door and not inside the house, even though he is going through trials, he still prefers that over being in the tents of the wicked. When speaking of the tents of the wicked, we are not speaking of the misery the sin brings, but of the abundance the wicked men sometimes have. The abundance of living an easy life with the pleasures this world and the sin offers. Still, the psalmist had understood the value of God and His kingdom. The value of being in His presence. This is only understood by those who know God. They are willing to live even in trials sometimes, even in difficulties but knowing that God is with them. Some persons are even disposed to be persecuted for God’s kingdom’s sake. Where is that courage coming from? Often, most people living in those conditions are not forced to do it, yet they choose to do it over something else. Why is that? It is because they know Christ and have accepted His sacrifice. That’s why the invitation is also to accept Christ for those who haven’t done it yet so they can come to know the value of what he offers us. With all this, I am not saying that there are always trials and hard times, and God will not provide what is necessary for you in life. I am just saying that at times, there will be moments in which someone needs to humble and go through hard times for the kingdom, but he will be able to withstand them because he knows well the value of being in God’s house. Even going through trials is better than being far from God and having all the comforts this world could offer. This is because heaven has much more value.

I think that such a person who understands well the value of God’s presence, even standing at the threshold of His house, is the one who has received His word on good ground. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 is given an example of a person who receives God’s word with joy but when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he stumbles immediately because he doesn’t have root in himself (Matthew 13:21). The word of God needs to be rooted in us, and we also need to be rooted in His presence. This is what helps us to endure throughout trials and to choose God over other things.  

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