1 How lovely is your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts, to me;
my soul is longing, fainting,
the courts of God to see.
The beauty of your dwelling
will bring me joy anew.
My heart and flesh are crying,
O living God, for you.
2 Beneath your care the sparrow
finds place for peaceful rest;
to keep her young in safety
the swallow finds a nest.
So, Lord, my King Almighty,
your love will shelter me;
beneath your wings of mercy
my dwelling place will be.
3 Blest they who love and serve you,
whose joy and strength you are.
Forever they will praise you,
your ways are in their heart.
Though tried, their tears like showers
shall fill the springs of peace,
and all the way to Zion
their strength shall still increase.
Taken form Psalm 84:1-7, “How Lovely Is Your Dwelling” is a prayer of longing for God’s house and for the blessing of serving God there. Stanza 1 describes the beauty of God’s house and the soul’s longing for the joy and comfort of that holy place. Stanza 2 highlights God’s care of his people, combining the images of sparrow and swallow from Psalm 84:3 with the image of God’s sheltering wings found in other psalms (36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 91:4). Stanza 3 extols the blessedness of being God’s people in Zion or the New Jerusalem.
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook
In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”