First Word: In His House

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The May-June digital and audio BA “Praise and Precepts” will upload this week. Here is my First Word to kick things off…

In His House

Welcome back, readers! I hope you are enjoying our journey through the Bible. In this issue, we are exploring the books of poetry. Of these J. I. Packer is credited in claiming, “Psalms teach us how to worship; Proverbs, how to behave; Job, how to suffer; Song of Solomon, how to love; and Ecclesiastes, how to live.” 

That’s a good summary. But of these five books, Psalms has captured my attention most. As my favorite book, I read it most every day. I find it leads me into worship every time. My favorite verse in Psalms sums up this worship and the whole book:

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4, KJV throughout).

What is worship but the expressed desire to be near God? This psalm conveys that singular aspiration: to see, and to be, with Him. The most beloved, Psalm 23, ends on this very keynote: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Passion for His presence is the heartbeat of worship. Psalms exclaims this longing often: “Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house” (26:8; see also 36:8; 42:4; 52:8; 55:14; 65:4; 66:13; 84:4, 10; 92:13; 116:19; 118:26; 122:1, 9; 134:1; 135:2). Psalms presents us with a question: Where do you want to be? It gives the answer too: I want to be where You are!

Dwelling with the Almighty is intensely intimate. Only those of faith would dare to desire it. That’s why trust is the central theme of Psalms — and the basis of worship. May we all say, “I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy . . . let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice” (5:7, 11; cf. 2:12; 4:5; 5:11; 7:1; 9:10; 11:1, et al.). Read and enjoy! 

— Jason Overman

Jason Overman
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Jason Overman is Editor of Publications of the Bible Advocate Press. After 24 years in the publishing industry (in sales and management) with the Harrison Daily Times, Jason left his general manager’s position to join the BAP family in 2015. He has served in ministry for 30 years and currently pastors the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Jasper, Arkansas, with his wife, Stephanie, and two children, Tabitha and Isaac. Jason enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading theology, playing his guitar, and taking in the beautiful Ozark Mountains he calls home.