By Brooke Holt
“Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. 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. If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.’” - Psalm 132:8-12
Yesterday we read of David’s commitment and passion to see a temple built for the Lord. Even knowing that he would never see the temple with his human eyes, King David worked tenaciously to make all the preparations so that his son could build the temple. King Solomon did indeed build the temple, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple so that the priests could not even enter the temple. What a glorious day for the nation of Israel! Just imagine this scene: “When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord saying, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever’” (2 Chronicles 7:3). This kind of experience seems like one that would captivate a heart forever.
Who could imagine that within King Solomon’s life, the hearts of many of these Israelites would go astray, that they would begin to worship other gods, that King Solomon would worship other gods alongside his foreign wives? Going from this divine demonstration of glory and steadfast love to idolatry. How does that happen to God’s people?
The psalmist today also marvels at his people and their fickleness, and he appeals to the immutable God. It was the Lord who chose David and initiated the Davidic covenant assuring that one of David’s sons would rule eternally. The cry of this Psalm is for the Lord to remember David, to remember his faithfulness, to remember David’s passion and commitment to build the temple, and then for God to remember his covenant to David. Essentially, the cry of Psalm 132 is for God to come back and to make his dwelling place among the Israelites, to restore his glory and then their glory.
How would God’s people be restored? Only through God’s return: “Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might” (v. 8). What would that mean to the Israelites, and what would that mean for us today? For thousands of years, the nation of Israel awaited their coming Messiah. They believed that once the Messiah came, he would make all things right for them. Instead, Jesus came and dwelt among them, and many did not even recognize him nor follow him. Jesus did not come to his resting place in the way that they expected. Instead of coming in fire and glory, Jesus came as a man.
The resting place of Jesus also changed. No longer could he be contained in the ark but in human flesh. Now, he lives in his people. We are his resting place! Do you realize the significance of that? God’s glory dwells within you, fills you, and is meant to consume you from the inside out. You are not only resting place, but you are to be the display of his glory to the world. This is the greatest and most mysterious revelation of God. May we receive the fullness of his glory and let it shine forth faithfully in our lives!
Are you embracing this holy mystery that you are God’s resting place? Are you allowing the Lord to fill, consume, and transform you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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