This courtyard one would think to find on the grounds of a European castle. But in fact, this idyllic spot is part of the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Built in 1925 by the inventor John Hays Hammond, it sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean and operates as a museum. As beautiful as the castle is, it is the courtyard that beckons one to sit and enjoy the peace and stillness.
Today’s verse makes reference to the dwelling place of the Lord Almighty. His courts are so lovely that it rivals anything that man can build or even imagine. But I do try to imagine it as small, enclosed and intimate. I can hear water lapping and there is welcoming shade under beautiful green palm trees. To spend even one day there in His court is better than a thousand days anywhere else. Being even a lowly doorkeeper in this place would make me more privileged than dwelling in the richly appointed homes of the wicked (verse 10).
This is a place I can come to anytime. His court or dwelling place is His presence. And unlike the temple of the Old Testament, His temple is now within me (I Cor. 6:19). His court is a place that satisfies the deepest longings and yearnings of my soul. But oh how distracted I am by what I can see and touch! When life is good and I am comfortable or feeling self-sufficient, I am not crying out to God. It is when I come to the end of myself that I reach out to Him.
Lord, keep me in Your court.