10. For better is one day in thy courts than a thousand elsewhere. Unlike the greater part of mankind, who desire to live without knowing why, wishing simply that their life may be prolonged, David here testifies, not only that the end which he proposed to himself in living was to serve God, but that in addition to this, he set a higher value on one day which he could spend in the divine service, than upon a long time passed among the men of the world, from whose society true religion is banished. It being lawful for none but the priests to enter into the inner and innermost courts of the temple, David expressly declares, that provided he were permitted to have a place at the porch, he would be contented with this humble station; for the Hebrew word סף, saph, signifies a door-post, or the threshold of a house. The value which he set upon the sanctuary is presented in a very striking light by the comparison, that he would prefer having a place at the very doors of the temple, to his having full possession of the tents of wickedness, the plain import of which is, that he would rather be cast into a common and unhonoured place, provided he were among the people of God, than exalted to the highest rank of honour among unbelievers. A rare example of godliness indeed! Many are to be found who desire to occupy a place in the Church, but such is the sway which ambition has over the minds of men, that very few are content to continue among the number of the common and undistinguished class. Almost all are carried away with the frantic desire of rising to distinction, and can never think of being at ease until they have attained to some station of eminence.
10 The psalmist sings about the superiority of God’s presence. One day of fellowship with God is a thousand times better than anything else. The psalmist esteems service as a temple guard as superior to receiving public recognition and wealth.
Vers. 10 ff. Our Shield.—This is in the vocative, as being an address to God; not, as in Ps. 89:19, an accusative denoting the king, and depending upon the verb (Aben Ezra). Against the latter are the terms Sun and Shield applied to God in ver. 12, and changed by the Sept. into the sentence: God loves mercy and truth. God is called a shield also in Ps. 59:12. “See” stands absolutely as in 2 Chron. 24:22; Ps. 80:15, parallel to “hear” in ver. 9c. “For,” in ver. 11, does not confirm the foregoing supplication (Hengst.) but the whole Psalm (Aben Ezra, Geier and others). The verse says nothing about door-keeping, which was an honorable office. Nor about a long-continued residence (Luther). A comparison is made between dwelling and lying upon the threshold, the former relating both to the house of God and to the tents of wickedness. The latter is not employed in the sense of being despised (Augustin) nor as being the consequence of violent treatment (Sept.) nor as lying before the door as Lazarus did (Hengst.). It expresses a personal experience of the exalted good, happiness and value of belonging to God’s house, and the smallest measure of and most remote connection with this privilege were more esteemed and loved by the Psalmist than the greatest abundance supplied from other sources. The psalmist has in his mind’s eye a worshipper lying upon the threshold, but utters only his own conception and appreciation of this relation, not his actual condition and posture. Any reference to his humility and modesty (Calvin, Hupfeld), is as unsuitable as an allusion to the position and employment of the Korahites in the temple-service (Del.). The plural number courts, in vers. 3 and 11, do not necessarily indicate a late date. The original Tabernacle had, to be sure, only one court. But intimations are found of an enlargement and alteration in that of David’s time. (See Knobel on Ex. 25–31 p. 255).
84:10 And what is it like, being in heaven? Well, a day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. Which is just another way of saying that there is no comparison. We simply cannot conceive the glory, the joy, the beauty, the freedom of being where Jesus is. And it’s a good thing we can’t. Otherwise we would probably be unhappy to remain here and to get on with our work.
Better to be a doorkeeper in the house of your God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. As Spurgeon said, “God’s worst is better than the devil’s best.” And not only better but more enduring. Note the contrast between the house of our God and the tents of wickedness. One is a permanent dwelling, the other is pitched for a relatively short while.
84:10 — For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Since we were made for an intimate relationship with God, anywhere with Him is better than anywhere else without Him. We find deep and ultimate satisfaction only in Him.
84:10 stand at the threshold. One day standing at the door of the temple, or just being near even if not inside, was better than a thousand days fellowshiping with the wicked.
 Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moll, C. B., Briggs, C. A., Forsyth, J., Hammond, J. B., … Conant, T. J. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Psalms (p. 465). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 678). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ps 84:10). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 84:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.