“Yea the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee. Selah. ” Psalm 84:3
Endowed with the gift of flight, birds have such freedom of motion that they are capable of traversing thousands of miles across continents, soaring to the heights of the skies, plunging to the lowest depths of earth’s dry places. These creatures possess the rare liberty of pushing the limits of height, depth and distance.
In much the same way, on a grander scale, mankind is gifted with these capabilities. But inherent in this sense of latitude is a kind of restlessness and constant movement, of migrations prompted by the search for food and shelter and climates of well-being, a sense of fear of things and circumstances beyond one’s control.
King David likens his soul to the restless, homeless creatures of flight that have finally found a dwelling place in God’s house. He declares that those who find their rest in God are blessed, whose hearts are full of praise. And that happiness stems from knowing God.
In this psalm, there is a designated place for approaching and knowing God — “even thine altars”, referring to the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Altar of Incense in the Old Testament.
There is a new and living way to know and find God, to come to the altars that God Himself has appointed: the shed blood of His own Son Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s cross for the remission of our sins and shortcomings. The Great High Priest of the Altar of Incense is the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, who is the pathway to our Heavenly Father.
As the sparrow found a house, and the swallow, a nest to lay her young, it is at the altars, it is in and through Jesus Christ that our souls find true happiness, rest, and fulfillment of purpose in this life and beyond.
*** Photography by Jimmy Palma Gil