Psalm 132

A Song of Ascents.

1    Remember, O Lord, on David’s behalf,
All his affliction;
2    How he swore to the Lord
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3    “Surely I will not enter my house,
Nor lie on my bed;
4    I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
5    Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6    Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah,
We found it in the field of Jaar.
7    Let us go into His dwelling place;
Let us worship at His footstool.
8    Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
9    Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your godly ones sing for joy.

10    For the sake of David Your servant,
Do not turn away the face of Your anointed.
11    The Lord has sworn to David
A truth from which He will not turn back:
“Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.
12    “If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I will teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.”

13    For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His habitation.
14    “This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15    “I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her needy with bread.
16    “Her priests also I will clothe with salvation,
And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.
17    “There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth;
I have prepared a lamp for Mine anointed.
18    “His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon himself his crown shall shine.”

Before enrolling in college, I had moved over a dozen times. Some of the moves were only across town but others were to different states and even to a different country. Moving to a new place, even if it is just across town, puts one in a position of needing to establish new relationships. Being in this position of needing to establish new relationships can lead one to the ranking of potential friends. (“I don’t care if Sally is my friend or not but I really hope that Kathrine will want to be friends with me!”)

Maybe you can remember moving to a new place or starting a new grade at school and noticing someone whom you desired above all others to be your friend. But, because of this person’s popularity or status or schedule, you “just knew” that it would never work out. “How in the world would he ever want to be my friend?

In Psalm 132, King David is remembered for his tireless commitment to establishing a dwelling place for God in Israel. What did God think of this desire and pursuit of King David? Verses 13 and 14 gives us God’s perspective on David’s ambitious enterprise.

13    For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His habitation.
14    “This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

God desired to be close to David and the people of Israel. The invisible One desired to enter the confines of space on earth to dwell and rest with His people. God, who is self-sufficient and omnipresent desires to dwell with men and women. (This is seen more clearly in His Son coming to earth. But, even in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, God physically came close to His people for fellowship.)

This declaration from God is similar to one of us moving to a new town and finding that the kid with the coolest toys and most fun house and happiest family actually desires to be friends. “Mommy, guess what? Ralphie, who lives at the corner house, he asked me to come over and play with his remote controlled monster trucks with him tomorrow! Can I go, can I go, can I go?!”

In Psalm 132, the Greater expresses His love and desire for the lesser. God “has chosen Zion.” God has declared His intent to dwell with them forever. And like a child being noticed by the neighbor kid with whom he desires a friendship, so the response of those called into God’s dwelling place is excitement and exuberant joy!

7    Let us go into His dwelling place;
Let us worship at His footstool.
8    Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
9    Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your godly ones sing for joy.

You might need to command your children to eat guacamole and brussel sprouts. You might need to command them to kiss their Aunt Freida good-bye. But, you never have to command your children to rejoice when they receive a desired friendship. Joy just bubbles out of them for the fulfillment of their desire to be honored in this way.

Do you respond to the opportunity to worship God with His people the same way you responded to a new friendship as a child? Do you realize the honor of being called into a relationship with God, your Creator and the Sovereign of the universe? Is there overflowing joy in your worship of God with His people? Are you happy to know Jesus?

It is a lie to believe that one “outgrows” excitement and joy in God’s presence. King David, the regal adult, spent himself for the possibility of himself and others to enter God’s presence with joy.


1    Remember, O Lord, on David’s behalf,
All his affliction;
2    How he swore to the Lord
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3    “Surely I will not enter my house,
Nor lie on my bed;
4    I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
5    Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

David saw the value of the relationship with the Greater, God. David gave himself to make a way for God’s people to come together and enjoy God’s presence. David worked hard to be close to God. And the result of his “mature” labor was “godly ones sing[ing] for joy” to the Lord!

If your worship is not full of joy and rejoicing and thankfulness, you have not outgrown excitement; rather, you have lost it.

Maybe you have begun to fancy yourself to be the Greater in the relationship? Maybe you have stopped looking at God and instead are looking only at those around you. This comparison has led to self-exalting pride. “I can’t be full of immature joy like new Christians!” I have progressed to the tough meat of eschatology fine-toothed linguistics.

Maybe you have ceased to be enamored with God and His righteousness? When you were a child, you would do whatever the cool kids did so that you would fit in with them. As a new believer, you did whatever pleased God. Now, you don’t want to fit in with God as much as you want to fit in with other adults and respectable people or with the fun-loving partiers. Your affections are wrapped up in the pursuits of godless co-workers, neighbors and friends. It is uncomfortable to be in God’s presence. You know that being in God’s presence leads to joy and to righteousness (v.9). So, giving up a particular sin to be righteous just doesn’t sound as appealing as it used to sound.

Your face still lights up, but not in the presence of God with His people in worship.

King David would not rest until he had found a place, until he had made a way for God’s people to come together and worship in God’s presence. That place and gathering caused rejoicing to well-up from within God’s gathered people. If you have lost this joy, come back to God in repentance. Work hard at it. Let us be found diligently giving ourselves to worshipping God together with the over-flowing thankfulness of a forgiven people.

Remember also the encouragement and challenge from 1 Peter, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (2:9–10)

Let us be found diligently giving ourselves to worshipping God together with the over-flowing thankfulness of a forgiven people.

 

Tyson Turner

Author Tyson Turner

Tyson is husband to Jen and father to their six children. Tyson is a graduate of the Reformed Evangelical Pastor's College and served for several years as Christ The Word's Assistant Pastor, but followed God's call to be the Senior Pastor at Grace Redeemer Church in Crestview, Florida in September 2017.

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