THE TWO ALTARS
Now let us consider the various aspects of the Psalmist’s experience concerning the house. The first aspect of His enjoyment, poetically speaking, is the two altars. “Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God!” (v. 3). Undoubtedly we are the sparrows, we are the swallows, we are the little creatures, so small and so frail. Yet we may find a house. We have already mentioned that in the Psalms, whenever the house of God is mentioned, it is presented not only as a place in which God may dwell, but as the place where we also may find our home. This is the sweet feeling of the Psalmist concerning the house of God. It is a place for the little sparrows to abide. It is a place for the swallow to build a nest for herself, where she may lay her young. We find a home in the house of God, and this home is at the two altars.
In ancient times, both in the tabernacle and in the temple, there were two altars: one was in the outer court, and the other was in the holy place; one was without, and the other was within. The altar in the outer court was the place for the offerings, which dealt with all negative things, which cleansed, redeemed, and delivered from all problems. The altar in the holy place was the altar of incense, which signifies the resurrected Christ as our acceptance to God. Hence, these two altars signify the crucifixion of Christ and Christ in resurrection. Together, they embody in type all that Christ is with all that He has accomplished and attained. It is here that we find our home; it is here that we find our rest in the house of God. All the little ones in the local churches must realize and apprehend the significance of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, with all that He has accomplished and attained for us. I say again, the Psalms are poetry, and we must understand them in a poetic way.
We need to care for the little ones in the local churches by helping them realize the value and meaning of the first altar, and the significance and worth of the second altar. We must cause them to apprehend how Christ is the crucified One at the offering altar and the resurrected One at the incense altar that they may enjoy all the goodness of the crucified Christ and the resurrected Christ. It is here at the altars that we have a real resting place, a true nest for the little ones. This is the first item of all the enjoyment in the local churches.
CONTINUALLY PRAISING AND TRUSTING IN GOD
The second item is the praising: “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be praising thee all the day long. Selah” (v. 4). Henceforth, whenever we meet together, we must spend much time in praising. The praising should occupy more of the time in our meetings than the teachings. “They will be praising thee all the day long.” Learn to praise Him.
The third aspect of the enjoyment is that in the local church we have the very God to trust in: “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (v. 12). Indeed, we may all trust in God outside of the local church, but it is rather difficult. In the local church, we can testify, it is so easy to trust in God. If you have not tasted, you do not know. Even the young ones can bear witness to this fact. Come into the local church and stay there for just two months, and you will see how easy it is to trust in God when you are in the meetings. At home it is rather arduous, but in the meetings it is spontaneous. In the local churches we have the very God to trust in.
There are other blessings issuing from the house of God in this Psalm, but I mention just these three: the altars, where we may rest; the continual praise (it is praise to the Lord, but it is our enjoyment); and the place where we have the very God, in whom we may trust. These are the main blessings of making our home in God’s house.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)