Psalm 84:10, Contemporary English Version
Every now and then I like taking a psalm and doing my own loose contemporary translation of the text (fyi – I’ve had training in the Hebrew language, so this isn’t weird for me, or for you!). I find this exercise to be exhilarating and helpful for my own soul. I hope you find this to be useful for you, as well. The psalmist is talking about the temple. But I’ve updated it for the Christian who enjoys fellowship with God in the many places where He can be found. I encourage you to read it over once, then carefully read it again, prayerfully. Do it both times out loud. The psalms are meant to be prayed, and they are meant to be said aloud with flavor!
How lovely are all the places where you dwell,
powerful and mighty God of the numerous heavenly forces!
The depths of my soul long, even yearn,
for the intimate backyard gatherings where Yahweh dwells.
My heart and my body, my whole self
shout out loud for joy to the living God!
Yes, the lowly insignificant mother sparrow has also found a home with God;
the swallow has, too, found herself a homey nest
where she can lay her young beside your divine activity,
Large Lord of the numerous heavenly forces, my king, my God,
You are so big that the lowliest of creatures find shelter in You!
Those who live within Your sacred space are truly happy;
they can’t stop praising you constantly and incessantly!
Those who put their energy in you are truly content;
a one-way road to You is in their hearts.
As they walk through all kinds of dry hard circumstances
they end up making them like a spring of living water.
Yes, even problems become like a gentle rain of blessing.
The biggest of dilemmas become manageable,
as they see the supremacy of God in it all.
Mighty Lord God of the numerous heavenly forces,
hear my prayer to you;
listen closely, O ancient God of my spiritual ancestors!
You are our great protective shield, God;
pay close attention to your chosen one!
Better is one single solitary day in your backyard gathering
than a ba-jillion of days anywhere else!
I would prefer to park cars out in the front yard of my God’s house
than live comfortably in the palatial hangouts of the ungodly!
The Lord is like the brightness of a warm summer day,
and even the suntan lotion protecting me; He’s all that!
God is full of crazy grace and unspeakable glory.
The Lord gives— and doesn’t withhold — good things
to those who walk with integrity of heart before Him.
Powerful Lord of the numerous heavenly forces,
those who trust in you are truly giddy with joy!