August 24, 2023

“For one day in Your courts is better than a thousand days elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10

Beach or Mountains?

Book or Movie?

Out on the Town or A Night at Home?

What would you rather do?

The game, Would You Rather? forces you to make a choice between two competing scenarios. It’s a great way to spark conversations and learn about the preferences of another person. 

The author of Psalm 84 knew exactly what he’d rather do more than anything else in the world: spend time in God’s presence. Given the choice between one day with the Lord or almost three years somewhere else, he chooses 24 hours with the Lord.     

Then, he carries it a step further.

He says he’d rather be a “doorkeeper in the house of God” than bask in the pleasures of this wicked world. 

Stop and consider the depth of what he’s saying.     

A doorkeeper was a lowly, behind-the-scenes position in God’s house. The author is one of the Sons of Korah, a group of men who performed various service-oriented tasks around the temple, such as monitoring the entrance to the temple courts. Though not exactly the same, the Sons of Korah were a little like our modern-day church janitors. 

So, I ask you:  What would you rather do?  

Serve as a janitor in the house of God (open/close a building, sweep floors, scrub toilets, etc.)


Live among the carnal pleasures of the world?

Is it even possible for regular folks like you and me, who don’t serve in the temple 24-7, to make the same choice as this ‘janitor?’  I mean, really…what leads a man to say he’d rather be with the Lord than anywhere else in the world? 

Only one thing:  Joy

We must become convinced that there is greater joy in life with God than life apart from God.    

Don’t fall for the lie that life with God is merely about agreeing with a set of beliefs, keeping a bunch of rules, and showing up to church on Sundays.  No!  It is so much more.  

Life with God is an invitation into the deep, soul-satisfying “fullness of joy” in His presence (Psalm 16:11). And once this ‘janitor’ got a taste of it, everything else, even the finest delicacies of hedonistic indulgence, paled in comparison.   

You can almost hear the joy oozing out of him as he exclaims, “How lovely is Your dwelling place!” (Psalm 84:1). His work isn’t drudgery. No, it’s sheer delight. As Charles Spurgeon says, “He loved the house of God because he loved the God of the house.” 

And even after all the years serving the Lord, his desire for His presence hasn’t diminished. He shouts:

“My soul longs, faints for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:1,2)

Honestly, I am both inspired and challenged by this man’s faith.  I want what he’s got, don’t you? I don’t want my desire for the Lord to diminish, nor my delight in Him to fade away. Oh Lord, may it never be so!

So, how do we get there?

How do we keep a hunger for His presence and a joy that goes the distance?

From a New Testament perspective, the starting point is faith in Jesus Christ. Only through Him can we experience the fullness of joy in God’s presence – anytime and anywhere. As we grow in our faith, we realize that being with Jesus is better than anything the world offers.

Then, we take it one day at a time, making a daily choice to draw near to Jesus, doing whatever it takes to stay close to Him.

So, what about you?

What would you rather do?  Spend the day with Jesus or a thousand days elsewhere?

Be careful how you choose. Your joy depends on it.

“Be encouraged that God made you to rejoice in him. Do not settle for any lesser joy. Lay yourself in the way of allurement. That is, fix your eyes on the all-satisfying treasure of Jesus Christ who loved us and gave his life as a ransom for our everlasting joy.”  -Jonathan Edwards

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH


Read “How is a day in God’s courts better than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84:10)?” at GotQuestions.org