From: Jason Puckett
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84.1-2
In the tension between God’s amazing grace and God’s magnificent holiness, I find I struggle more with grasping and appreciating the latter. When I seek to know the Lord more closely, it is most edifying for me to find ways to meditate on God’s holiness.
Numbers 19 brings to light one aspect of God’s holiness; namely that uncleanliness and holiness cannot mix. (Surely the uncleanliness would be consumed if they did.) Yet while they cannot mix, it is not a permanent condition; in this passage we see there are instructions for how to achieve restoration. But without following these steps a person would “defile the Lord’s tabernacle” and ultimately be cut off. God’s holiness is clearly serious stuff—how do I internalize that in a visceral way?
Psalm 84 is one way I have found: “Better is one day in your courts then a thousand elsewhere.” (Psalm 84.10) I first mediated on this verse after singing the popular praise song. Where would I want to spend 1,000 days? Where do I think I might find worldly satisfaction? Skiing in beautiful mountain settings? Sailing through warm, turquoise waters? Sharing meals with those I cherish most? Could I really give up 1,000 days of those things for one day in the presence of the Lord? I then try to image what that single day might look like; maybe it is some sort of day where all of these things are wrapped together. But instead of focused on me they are focused towards the Creator that makes them possible and gives them meaning. I begin to get a glimpse of a day that is worth a 1,000 to 1 trade. I begin to truly yearn for the “courts of the Lord” and to experience one (of many) days there.
I am a husband and a father who especially enjoys skiing and hiking in God’s creation. I work as a Systems Engineer.