Psalm 84 is best known for the famous worship song Matt Redman has written: Better is one day. It’s a Psalm with a great message for teens that will help them find a place of belonging, a home with God.
Bible passage: Psalm 84
Key message: Home is with God
Synopsis: The question of where our home is, is an interesting one for many people. Is home the place where you were born, the place where you live, the place you long for, or something else? One thing is certain, as Christians our real home is not here. As Larry Norman once put it, we’re ‘only visiting this planet’. Our real home is with God.
Psalm 84 is a pilgrimage Psalm that speaks of people on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish fest. The writer of the Psalm make some pretty bold statements on how much they long for God’s presence (see verse 2 and 10 for instance). These are the words of someone who knows where his real home is: with God. Can you say the same?
What’s interesting is that this Psalm was either written by or for the Sons of Korach (or a son of Korach) and Korach wasn’t a good man at all. As a matter of fact, he rebelled against Moses in the desert and he was killed. His sons however were allowed to live and they became loyal servants of King David later. It’s another example of how God uses people despite their backgrounds.
The Sons of Korach were doorkeepers in the Temple, it was their job to guard the door so to speak. Whereas the other Levites were allowed inside the Temple, these Korachites always stayed at the threshold. Still, they were satisfied being who and what they are. That’s why it says in verse 10 that they’d rather stay at the door and never come closer, than turn from God completely.
Still, the author knew God fully. Just look at how they call Him and describe Him: Lord of Hosts, the living God, my King, my God, etc. How can we know God? By being on a journey with Him, by sharing our everyday life with Him. Then we discover that God gives a spring in the Valley of Weeping and that with Him, we go ‘from strength to strength’. But we have to invite God on our journey to be able to get to know Him.
In the time this Psalm was written, God lived in the Temple. And He still does, in the temples of our bodies (1 Cor. 3:16), if we invite Him in that is. Because of what Jesus has done, we can enter into God’s presence freely and without hesitation. We don’t have to stay at the threshold, we can enter into His presence and He will receive us with open arms.
It’s sometimes hard in this world to find out where we belong, to whom we belong. But if we ask God on our journey, if we make heaven our destination, we have a home that no one can ever take away. We have a home with God. Because “better is one day in your courts, than thousand elsewhere.”
- Obviously, you could use the song Better is One Day in various Ways. I’ve used the lyrics next to the literal Bible text for instance to show how the song was taken from this Psalm. I’ve also paraphrased some key verses in the words of the lyrics because they are so well known.
- Depending on the level of Bible knowledge in the group, you may need to explain who Moses and David were and paint the time and context of the Psalm in more detail.
- Come up with some good examples of what ‘home’ can look like for your students. Some may wrestle with divorced parents for instance, resulting in two homes or none at all. Spend time thinking on this so you can really speak to their hearts.
- The last part is a great spot to preach the gospel and do an altar call in whatever form.