Weds 15 December - Psalm 132
1 Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.
2 He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 We heard it in Ephrathah,
we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
7 “Let us go to his dwelling place,
let us worship at his footstool, saying,
8 ‘Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
may your faithful people sing for joy.’”
10 For the sake of your servant David,
do not reject your anointed one.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
a sure oath he will not revoke:
“One of your own descendants
I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
on your throne for ever and ever.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.
17 “Here I will make a horn grow for David
and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
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Meditation on Psalm 132
What we know about the writer of this psalm is open to discussion. Some think it was written by David, others by Solomon. Still others link it with either, or both, Ezra and Nehemiah.
What we do know is that there are different focal points through the Psalm.
There are verses about David. There are verses about Solomon.
There are verses which focus on the LORD.
There are verses that include the people.
In verse 1 we have the first of two petitions in the psalm, the other being in verse 10.
The verses that follow the opening verse give us the reasons behind this first petition to ‘remember David’.
His ‘self-denial’ refers to David humbly submitting to the will of God.
- DAVID’S LONGING FOR THE HOUSE OF THE LORD Verses 2-5
David longed for a place where the LORD could dwell. Up to this point, whenever the people moved on, they pitched a tent so that the Ark of the Covenant could be placed inside.
The Ark contained the two tablets of stone on which were written the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff that had budded and a jar of manna.
David would have done anything to make sure that the LORD had a resting place. He was prepared to stay away from his own house and to stay awake 24/7 until he ‘finds a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.’
We first come across this title for the LORD in Genesis 49:24 when Jacob is blessing his sons. We come across it again in Isaiah 49:26 and 60:16.
Jacob is a synonym for Israel so we read of the ‘Mighty One of Israel’ in Isaiah 1:24.
Come back to 2 Samuel 7 where we read of David’s longing to build a house for the LORD. He has just moved into his palace and he speaks to the prophet Nathan – “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
Nathan encourages him to go ahead until the LORD steps in and asks the question, “are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?”
It was Solomon who built the house of the LORD – 1 Kings 5-6.
It’s interesting to note that Solomon spent about 7 years building the Temple but 13 years building his own palace!
How much do we value the House of the Lord?
- THE CALL TO WORSHIP Verses 6-9
This was call was heard in the area surrounding Jerusalem (Ephathrah) and around Jaar (Jaarim - where the ark had been for some time before being returned to Israel – 20 years in all)
This call was to ‘go to His dwelling place; to worship at His footstool.’
Does this remind us of the verse in Psalm 122:1 ‘I rejoiced when those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” ‘
Hubert Parry wrote his famous anthem based on these verses in 1902. I found another version by F.G Burroughs. He wrote a hymn with the same title and his first verse says –
‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go to the House of the Lord,
for my heart was so thirsty for Thee, and so hungry to fee on Thy Word.’
Is that why I come to the House of the Lord?
- THE LORD RESPONDS Verses 11-18
Just as David longed for the House of the LORD, so the LORD promises, in His response, that David will have a line of successors as kings providing they ‘keep my covenant’.
The final King will be great David’s greater Son and He shall reign for ever and ever.
And the LORD promises that He will dwell in Zion – ‘this is my resting place for ever and ever’.
The LORD dwelt with His people then and He dwells with His people today.
The LORD makes provision for His people.
The LORD clothes His people (we are all priests) with righteousness and salvation.
His people will respond with songs of joy. He alone is worthy of our praise.
The three things mentioned in verse 17 speak of the assurance of strength, clarity and sovereignty.
The LORD sounds a warning note that those who are His enemies will be ‘clothed with shame’.
May the joy of the Lord be our strength as we keep going to the House of the Lord.
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