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.
(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
[Theme] Welcome God’s presence
This is the longest song of Ascents and it contains 18 verses. Verses 1-10 are the cry of the ascending pilgrims, and verses 11-18 speak of God’s response to the pilgrims.
At the beginning of this psalm, there is a reference to David’s suffering, saying, “O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured”. It also mentions how David swore and pledged to God his wish to do whatever it takes until he found a dwelling place for God. It is worth noting that this time his suffering is not about the enemy’s pursuit or the result of his own sins, but about God’s presence, that is, with God’s ark.
We know that the Ark of the Covenant had been misused by the Israelites as a talisman to help people win battles and had been carried into the battlefield. And yet, the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines. Thus, the Ark of the Covenant was taken captive by the Philistines and ‘drifted’ for a while (1 Samuel 4-6). In the end, David spent so much effort that he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, followed by the known incident of Uzzah (2 Samuel 6).
This passage demonstrates to us how desperately David wanted to find a secure dwelling place for The Ark of God, saying, “until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob”, “Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might!” This is the same as David’s later desire to build a temple for God.
What was David’s intention to receive the Ark of the Covenant and build a temple for God? His plan was not to seek God’s power to accomplish anything. In fact, he just wanted the whole country to be able to restore worship to God! He said, “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.” Let the people and priests return to normal life and have a close relationship with God!
In times of suffering and trouble, most people are eager to cry out to God, which is the common sentiment of human beings. Today, let’s ask ourselves if we have ever acted like David who is so anxious and restless because of his desperate desire to seek God’s presence and the eagerness to revive people’s worship of God. Once again, let us assess our own relationship with God and how much we need His presence with us. God is glad to be with us if we are willing to humble ourselves to seek Him and let Him reign in our hearts!
The Word of Jesus tells me, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) And “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
I will open my heart to receive Jesus and surrender to the sovereignty of Christ. And I will bow down on my knees to worship You!
Psalm 132:8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.