Written by Paul J. Bucknell on June, 28, 2019
Psalm 84:1-12 Study Questions: Enter the Worship of God
Psalm 84 study questions guide us into contemplating what is true worship, how one gains a heart of worship, and how to turn the trials we face into opportunities to lift our worship rather than drag our lives down.
Worship is not only one of our activities, but the springboard of all that we do, think, and love.
Psalm 84:1-4 Fully Desire God’s Fellowship
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah. (NASB)
1) Psalm 84:1-4 Study Questions
- What might the Psalmist refer to by stating God’s dwelling places (1)? (Original language in the plural as in NASB, but many translations use the singular—eg., tent, tabernacle.)
- Go through verses 1-3 and note the various ways the Psalmist depicts his love for God.
- What do you think the Psalmist likes so much about God’s dwelling places?
- Read verse 2 and then think of two things that you have before longed and yearned for (2).
- Explain the image given in verse 3. How does the Psalmist use it to describe his own heart’s desire?
- List and describe all the names for God in verses 1-4. Explain which one means most to you and why?
Application Questions for Psalm 84:1-4
- Why do you go to church and worship God?
- Do you sense a personal drawing to God?
- Do you meet regularly with God through personal quiet times to secure and further establish that intimacy with God?
- Are there some questions about God that hold you back from finding yourself fully devoted to the Lord of Hosts?
2) Psalm 84:5-8 Tearfully Experience God’s Intimacy
5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. (NASB)
Psalm 84:5-8 Study Questions
- Who is blessed (5)?
- What does it mean to say one’s “strength is in You” (5)?
- Describe the meaning of “in whose heart are the highways to Zion” (5)?
- One has said verse 6 is the most difficult verse in Psalms. What does verse 6 mean? Try to paraphrase it in your own words.
- It appears from verse 6 that the Psalmist had to endure hardships through his life. How do we know that he went through it okay?
- Why is “go from strength to strength” a good description of the Christian?
- Verse 8 relates that these verses are a prayer. Where might the prayer start?
- What do you think the Psalmist was asking when he prayed, “Give ear, O God of Jacob” (8)?
Application Questions for Psalm 84:5-8
- Can you identify one or more times that you felt the strength that the Psalmist speaks of here?
- When you go through hard times, what practical ways do you get strength from the Lord?
- What characterizes your life when you feel that you are spiritually strong?
- List two difficult situations where you learned more about God’s person.
3) Psalm 84:9-12 Mindfully Explore God’s Excellency
9 Behold our shield, O God, and look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You! (NASB)
Psalm 84:9-12 Study Questions
We grow in our worship through a lifetime of incidents and trials where we further detect the glorious grace and power of God involved in our lives. From our worship flow our acts of service, recognizing that all the good and blessings we have are sourced in His grace.
- How is God like a shield (9)? What does a shield practically help with?
- Who is the Psalmist? Why does he call himself anointed (9)? What does it mean? Are you anointed (1 John 2:20)?
- What is the first contrast the author makes in verse 10a? Why might the Psalmist choose the way he did?
- What is the second contrast in verse 10? How is it the same or different from the prior one?
- How are commitments helped formed by clarifying our personal choices?
- What might the Psalmist want us to understand by saying God is “a sun?” (11)
- Give one or two examples from the Bible of how the Lord has given grace and glory.
- Read aloud the promise in verse 11. From who will the Lord “not withhold any good thing” (11)? Who does that include and exclude?
- What makes something good? (11) From Psalm 84, what are the things the Psalmist would say are good?
- Compare the former two times the Psalmist uses “blessed” with this last time in verse 12. Draw some conclusions about what the Psalmist believes about blessings.
Application Questions for Psalm 84:9-12
- Share at least one time you sensed God was your shield.
- Referring to verse 10 and the choices before the Psalmist, what would you say are the two choices before you in your life? Which do you choose?
- What are three things you need from the Lord? Would you say they are good? Explain.
- Share at least one time you sensed God was your sun.
- Can you see those blessings in your life? Where? Where do you not see the blessings but would like to? Seek the Lord for these now.
- How do we reach this place of worship that the Psalmist is experiencing? List one step you can take now to get closer.
- Why does proper service flow from proper worship? How does this relate to your thrust in service and missions?