Psalms of Ascents: Psalm 132

The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 132, the thirteenth psalm in the psalms of ascents.

Psalm 132 is both a history lesson on King David and his covenant with God, and a reminder that God is a promise keeper.

Psalm 132

A song of ascents.
 
1 Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.
 
2 He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
 
6 We heard it in Ephrathah,
we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
7 “Let us go to his dwelling place,
let us worship at his footstool, saying,
8 ‘Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
may your faithful people sing for joy.’ ”
 
10 For the sake of your servant David,
do not reject your anointed one.
 
11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
a sure oath he will not revoke:
“One of your own descendants
I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
on your throne for ever and ever.”
 
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.
 
17 “Here I will make a horn grow for David
and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”

At first glance, this is a story about David as king, his search and subsequent retrieval of the ark of the covenant, his plants to build a temple, and God promising David’s son would take the throne.

A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON:

  • Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt and they wandered the desert for 40 years. 
  • During that time, God instructed them how to build a temple that would travel with them, in order for His presence to always be with them.
  • The ark of the covenant was a large, gold box that contained holy items, such as priestly garments and other things that we don’t have knowledge of.
  • The ark ended up in a place called Baalah. When David became the king, he gathered Israelites together and told them they would recover the ark and return it to Jerusalem.
  • They recovered the ark and it stayed in a temporary location for 3 months, before David brought it to Jerusalem.
  • After David’s death, his son Solomon built a temple for God, housing the ark of the covenant.

BIGGER PICTURE: God is a promise keeper.

God promised David an “oath He will not revoke” (v. 11), that one of David’s descendants would take his place on the throne, and someone from his lineage would keep the throne forever. 

Initially, this promise was fulfilled by David’s son Solomon.

“ ‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, 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. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ”

2 Samuel 7:11-16

Solomon’s descendants were not loyal to God, causing the nation of Israel to be attacked on all sides. However, God is a promise keeper, and establishes the throne through the line of David to Jesus Christ.

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Luke 1:31-33

Verses 13-18 make an Old Testament promise to Israel, along with a list of blessings available to them if they keep the covenant. It also gives a New Testament promise to us, blessings available through accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. 

We are the permanent dwelling place of God.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 3:16

God’s promise is forever. Nothing here on earth or in the heavens can come between God and His promise to us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Jesus is our promised King. He will reign forever!

Each day, from March 23-April 6, 2020, I will be live on Instagram reading and discussing each of the fifteen psalms of ascents. I want to encourage you to join me.

Also, take a moment each day for your own study. Write the psalms (they’re all relatively short), and dig into God’s Word. That is where we will find peace.

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The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 132, the thirteenth psalm in the psalms of ascents.

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MEET KIRSTEN

I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!

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