Psalms of Ascent: 132

1   Remember, O Lord, in David's favor,
all the hardships he endured,
2   how he swore to the Lord
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3   “I will not enter my house
or get into 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 fields of Jaar.
7   “Let us go to his dwelling place;
let us worship at his footstool!”

8   Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
9   Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
10   For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11   The Lord swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne.
12   If your sons keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
their sons also forever
shall sit on your throne.”

13   For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14   “This is my resting place forever;
here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15   I will abundantly bless her provisions;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16   Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
and her saints will shout for joy.
17   There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18   His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but on him his crown will shine.”

Psalm 132 is the longest in this series, and there’s a lot to unpack. But I want to direct attention to the main idea of not just this, but of all the Psalms of Ascent: The centrality of God’s presence with his people. The psalm tells us who is blessed by God’s presence, and what the nature of that blessing is.

In verses 8-10, the psalmist uses direct quotations from Solomon’s dedication of the new Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:41-42.The Temple was God’s dwelling place on earth, which David and then Solomon worked tirelessly to build in accordance with God’s instructions.

It’s also the place the traveling Israelites were visiting while signing this song. They were reminding themselves of the blessings of God dwelling among them. Solomon’s prayer quoted in verses 8-10 are fulfilled in verses 14-18, when God takes over as the speaker. Their nation was protected and provided for. Priests were clothed in righteousness and salvation to mediate between God and his people. The saints shouted with joy in worship. And the line of David would produce a glorious king, Jesus.

We have it better than the Israelites did then. We don’t have just one location where we can meet with God. We are God’s temple! We are the place where God’s Spirit dwells. The blessings the Israelites sang of in Psalm 132 are not gone because the Temple is gone. They are magnified because God’s temple now lives and moves in the world. Let’s rejoice in God’s presence among us while being a blessing to all people, as God’s Temple was then and is today in us.