3The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may put her young:
Your altars, Lord of armies,
My King and my God.
3Yea, 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.
What is most supreme in life? Can the Christian say with the psalmist that communion with God is supreme in the whole of life and existence? In this sermon on Psalm 84:3 titled “The Sparrow,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through three certain things that are absolute essentials if one is to enjoy life like this. First, in reviewing his first two primary considerations, religion is not simply a matter of living, or of doing good, but rather one of knowing God: “The only thing that brings us into the presence of God is the blood of Jesus.” Additionally, the Christian learns that it is the truth of Christianity that is most essential, while the effectiveness of such a religion is merely an effect of its foundation of truth. Finally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones bring a new consideration, one that declares the Christian ought not only know the truth about God, but that they must realize the truth about themselves. They need a place of rest. No one has ever become a true Christian without feeling restless and homeless. To enjoy the blessings the psalmist expresses in Psalm 84:3 is to be aware of one’s helplessness and defenselessness.
- The psalmist emphasizes knowing God as the essence of religion.
- We must start with knowing God and his objective truth. Our feelings and experiences are secondary.
- We must also know the truth about ourselves. There are two foci of Christian truth: God and man.
- To know God, we must realize our own smallness and insignificance in the immense universe and masses of humanity. We are like sparrows.
- We will also realize a sense of homelessness and restlessness, seeking purpose and meaning. We are like swallows seeking a nest.
- We will realize our own helplessness, defenselessness, and inability to stand against the forces that attack us: illness, loss, sin, the world, the flesh, the devil.
- We will realize our soul is our most precious possession, like the young are to the birds. We seek a safe place for our eternal soul.
- The gospel answers these realizations. God knows even the sparrow and cares for us. Christ gives us rest. He protects us from all enemies. He saves and keeps our souls.
- We can find our home, rest, safety, and peace in Christ. Our souls can be safe in his keeping. We can say with the psalmist "blessed is the man who trusts in you."
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.