“O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured. He swore an oath to the LORD …. “I will not enter my house or go to my bed….till I find a place for the LORD…The LORD swore an oath to David: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne—if your sons keep my covenant….” (from Psalm 132)
The pilgrims are getting closer and closer to Jerusalem and so their thoughts turn more and more to the city, the temple and their illustrious king of old – David. The Psalmist knows his history and meditates on 2 Samuel 7. Before studying this Psalm it will be a good idea to read through that whole account. To give us a feel for the background to this Psalm here are a few observations on parts of the account in 2 Samuel 7.
“Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
David recognises that his priorities have not been right. He speaks to Nathan of his ambition to build a house for the LORD, and God gives Nathan words for David,
“Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day….did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”
It seems David’s desire to build something for God, is not what God wants. What does God want to do?
“I will raise up your offspring to succeed you…and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son.”
God assures David that He has a plan to honour Himself through David’s descendants.
“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
What was David’s response to this amazing promise?
“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?…There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself…?”
David is humbled, and recognises that these blessings are not for him alone, but all God’s people. He wanted to build God a house, but in fact God intends building David a ‘house’. A house of living descendants.
God still desires to do the same today. He chooses us (Eph 1:11) no matter that we may not be impressive in the eyes of the world (Jms 2:5), and calls us to be holy (Col 3:12) so as to be able to do His work (Eph 2:10) in this lost world. Will we be the ‘house’ God desires to build today?
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19–22 NIV)
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