DWELLING IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
In the Psalms we see how the Old Testament saints enjoyed the Lord in the unique place of God’s choice. Let us now consider a number of verses that testify of this enjoyment. In these verses we see how God’s people worshipped Him through enjoying the riches of the good land in God’s presence. The ancient saints surely enjoyed Christ with God in the unique place of God’s choice. The verses we shall consider are the outstanding verses in the Psalms related to the enjoyment of the riches of the good land in the place of God’s choosing.
Psalm 23:6 concludes with the words, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Christians love Psalm 23 mainly because it speaks of the Lord as the Shepherd. However, the ultimate goal of the Lord’s shepherding of us is the house of the Lord. According to this Psalm, the Lord leads us from one station to another until we are brought to the house of the Lord. He makes us to lie down in green pastures, He leads us beside the still waters, He leads us in the paths of righteousness, He takes us through the valley of the shadow of death, and then He brings us to the battlefield. Ultimately, however, He causes us to dwell in the house of the Lord. It is in the Lord’s house that goodness and mercy are with us all the days of our life. We should not simply visit in the house of the Lord; we should dwell there "to the length of days," that is, forevermore.
In verse 6 there is a parallel construction. On the one hand, goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life. On the other hand, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord to the length of days. There is, therefore, a parallel between "the days of our life" and "the length of our days." This indicates that goodness and mercy will be with us as we dwell in the house of the Lord. If we desire to share in the Lord’s goodness and mercy, we need to be in the house of the Lord. Today the house of the Lord is the church. Outside the church we cannot have the full enjoyment of the Lord’s goodness and mercy. But in the church we enjoy the goodness and mercy of the Lord for the length of our days.
Psalm 27:4 says, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." Here we see that the one desire of the psalmist was to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. The house of the Lord for us today is the church. If we are like the psalmist, we shall desire to dwell in the church all the days of our life. Here in the church we behold the beauty of the Lord. This refers to the Lord’s presence. Furthermore, we inquire in His temple. We do not pray according to our will, but we inquire concerning His will, seeking His desire. If we would behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in His temple, we need to dwell in the Lord’s house, the church.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)