Psalm 84 – How Lovely Are Thy Dwelling Places
I am meditating on Psalm 84 this morning with the help of Johannes Brahms. His German Requiem is impressive. The first time I heard it was with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Movement 4 is Psalm 84, “How Lovely Are Thy Dwelling Places [Tabernacles].” This piece moved me completely–more than any of the others. Serene. Restful. Contented. All the troubles of my world melted away for a short time.
Using Luther’s translation of Psalm 84, Brahms brings these words to life with a breathtaking score. Brahms’s personal story is a victory over physical and psychological abuse–one who understands personal loss. This encourages me as I listen. I hear the triumphant call and invitation to find a home in the Lord Jesus. Even the sparrow wants a place near Yahweh’s dwelling place,
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar
I found a You Tube video with the Philharmonic Orchestra playing Brahms “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen.” The way I like to listen is with my headphones. And, since I see better with my eyes closed, I close my eyes and let the words of the psalmist and Brahms’ music wash over me. Here is the english translation:
How lovely are thy tabernacles,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, even faints
for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh cries out
for the living God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will always be praising thee. Psalm 84:1,2,4