I would rather be a doorkeeper!
I hope you will not say that. But then the Psalmist was speaking about being a doorkeeper in the house of God (Psalm 84:10).
What was so special about the house of God?
One, he experienced God’s presence there. It is not the church building that makes the presence of God real to you. It is the seeking heart of a worshipper that experiences God’s presence.
So having enjoyed the presence of God there in the temple of God he envies the sparrows who have built nests near God’s altars. He envies the priests and Levites who ministered in the temple regularly. Then he is desiring to be a doorkeeper.
That is the greatest nearness he can possibly dream about. What longing to be near to God and his presence! See how he says, “a doorkeeper in the house of MY God [emphasis added].” See, he has a personal relationship with God!
How ashamed we must be because we do not even think much about God other than on Sundays; do we?
Secondly, the Psalmist wrote this Psalm at a time he was cut off from the house of God for a brief period of time. Maybe it was a period of sickness, we do not know exactly.
So he missed the fellowship of fellow believers. See friend, you cannot survive in your walk of faith alone. You need to come together with God’s people to worship God. Jesus promised his presence when two or three are gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).
Finally, note the comparison. One day in the temple courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. Sadly, many believers do not realise the source of their strength; God himself! They are quite happy elsewhere in the world. Their conversations cannot be distinguished in a crowd. They mix with people seeking worldly entertainment easily.
But the Psalmist draws a contrast. He wants to be near the courts of God. He would prefer to be a doorkeeper to enjoy as much nearness to God’s presence than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Dear friend, the greater your desire to enjoy the presence of God with God’s people in the house of God the greater will be your distance from the evil things of the world. As the downward pull of gravity is overcome by birds through the higher law of flight; so also the earnest desire to be near God will help you stay far away from the tents of the wicked.