“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:10-11
I used to read these verses and only focus on the beginning and ending portions. The middle piece about being a “doorkeeper” never resonated with me, and to be honest, I usually read these verses in a hurry and never really dwelled on the unfamiliar pieces. But I was reading the Word the other day in a different frame of mind. I was desperate for God to speak, because it seems like His voice gets lost in the void sometimes. It’s so easy to become consumed with chaos and new beginnings at this time of year, and I have been feeling so haggard lately. It was with this mindset that the word “doorkeeper” really struck a chord within me.
The psalmist that wrote this beautiful piece (please read the entirety of this Psalm, it is filled with imagery and abounding in joy) really knew what it was like to hunger and thirst after Jesus. “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.” (Psalm 84:1-2) The psalmist was able to understand the fragility of his own humanity in light of the divinity of God.
This verse about being a doorkeeper was his way of bowing down before the Father. A doorkeeper (gatekeeper in some translations) was a job meant for the individuals lacking status and prestige. Instead of elevating himself before the Lord, this psalmist simply GOT IT. He would rather be a servant for the most High, than live in luxury if it meant being somewhere void of Jesus.
As I pondered this man’s audacious faith, I became ashamed. I hurt for our culture that is consumed with status, wealth, prestige, and notoriety. How often do people of the Christian faith seek to be known, instead of seek to know the King? How many of us can honestly say that we would give up everything and be a servant, if it meant that we were able to sit in God’s presence? My heart aches for those who see Jesus as someone who values fame and fortune. Our King values the doorkeepers, and the ones with a servant’s heart.
After really meditating on these words, I’m praying for the faith and humility of the doorkeeper throughout this season. The doorkeeper is willing to humble himself before the Lord. The doorkeeper does not seek approval or accolade of mankind. The doorkeeper hides in the shadows, knowing the value of time with our Savior. And it is the doorkeeper whom gets to spend precious time with the Lord, abounding in joy and lacking of nothing.