“I will not enter my house or go to my bed— I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Psalms 132:3–5 NIV)
David had a vision – one of building a ‘dwelling’ for God. He knew this could not happen without sacrifice. He decided that God’s honour would come before his personal comfort. In this Psalm he is pledging to get on with this project at all costs and all speed.
In the end he was not the man to build the temple and, in time, God revealed this to him,
“King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’” (1 Chronicles 28:2–3 NIV)
Nonetheless we can applaud David’s heart to build something to the glory and honour of God – and to prioritise that above all other things in his life.
Perhaps for Christians today this is like seeking the kingdom first
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33–34 NIV)
We deliberately put aside concerns about food, clothing and money (see the earlier part of chapter 6) in order to be one with God. It is easy to forget the significance of getting our priorities right. We found the kingdom by putting it first,
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44–46 NIV)
Since that is how we found the kingdom it is also how we will continue to enjoy its fruits.
The temple David wanted to build (& Solomon built) was somewhere he dreamed of providing so that God’s presence would be permanently with His people. But this was inadequate,
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 NRSV)
Christians have something far more valuable – God’s presence permanently in them,
“Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)
This presence gives us no fear if we love others with the love of Christ (1 John 3:16-20), but instead fills us with confidence for we know that we can enter God’s presence:
“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15–16 NRSV)
What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment or ask a question.