Lent 36 (2012)–Desired Dwelling Place

In our thirteenth Song of Ascents (the pilgrim songs that travelers would sing on their way Up to Jerusalem), we encounter Psalm 132—the longest of these songs.   The title of this discipleship lesson might be Desired Dwelling Place because it highlights God’s desire to dwell among His people. 

This song begins:  Psalm 132:1 A song of ascents. O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured.  2 He swore an oath to the LORD and 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, no slumber to my eyelids, 5 till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

David’s desire was to find a dwelling place for God, but God’s desired dwelling place was wherever His people came to worship Him.  If we remember back in 1 Chronicles 13-16, King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  He had found it in Jaar (i.e. Keriath Jearim –1 Samuel 5 tells us the Philistines abandoned it, as it brought nothing but judgment against those who hated God). 

Ps 132: 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— 8 arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. 9 May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy.”

But even after the Ark was in Jerusalem, Scripture says, “After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent” (1 Chronicles 17:1).

David’s cedar palace seemed to be a more fitting dwelling place than under a tent.  God’s Desired Dwelling Place was among His chosen people.  This is what the “Tent of Meeting” represented. 

God desires to meet with His people–the ones who love and fear Him–wherever they are.

Here is the beauty of God’s condescension and His great humility.  He allowed the Temple to be built not because He needed one, but because He loves us.  It would not be built by David, a man of war, but by Solomon, whose name means peace (see the Hebrew consonant similarities with shalom, SLM).  Seek God’s Presence and Know His Peace.  This is His Desired Dwelling Place.

Ps 132:10 For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one. 11 The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that 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: 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 will I satisfy with food. 16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints 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 the crown on his head will be resplendent.”

God’s resting place–where He is enthroned– is the eternal temple.  It was made possible by Jesus Christ—His Anointed One.  Where is God’s eternal Desired Dwelling Place?  

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.

They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’”

(Revelation 21:3)

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 3, 2012

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