This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
An Habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob
Meditation on Psalm 132: 4,5 13,14
I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob...For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
What a beautiful psalm this was for God’s people as they travelled up to the temple to worship. May it be so also for us. The Israelites knew that David desired to build the temple. He desired to build the house for God to dwell in. God came to Nathan the prophet, saying that David was not to build that house. God said that He Himself will build a house for David!
The desire of David was a good desire. God had given David rest from his enemies, and David was now living in a beautiful palace. But the ark of God had no abiding place. It was resting in a tent that David had put up for it in Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant had been in Philistia. When the wicked sons of Eli had tried to force God to go out in battle for them, the Philistines had captured the ark and put it in the houses of their gods. Do you remember how the idol god, Dagon fell down into pieces before the ark? The Philistines endured various plagues, and were only too eager to get rid of the ark. They put the ark on a cart with milk cows and sent it back to Israel. There it rested in Kirjah-jearim (the city of the woods). David finally was successful in bringing the ark to Jerusalem, placed in a tent. But the glory of the Lord never settled upon that tent. The Shekinah of glory had come upon Moses’ tent, the Tabernacle. Later the glory of God came upon Solomon’s temple. But there was no heavenly glory on David’s tent.
David desired a glorious house to be built for Israel’s glorious God. But he was a man of war, his hands full of blood. God would build the house. He would use David’s seed. Solomon, David’s son will build the temple. But Solomon could only put up a physical building. It was a beautiful building, but a building that could be torn down, as it was later by the Babylonians. God’s people needed to look for the Son of David who would build a temple not made with hands. The temple destroyed would in three days be raised up. This was the temple of His body. The house of David would come to a dismal stump, the stump of Jesse. But from a lowly maiden, Mary, came ‘The Seed of David’. The Lord Jesus, the ‘Son of God’ and the ‘Son of Man’ would raise up the house of David. This is the church of the Lord Jesus.
This house that God builds is a spiritual dwelling place in the hearts of God’s people. The temple that Solomon built was a type of the church. What does the psalmist say about it? He says, “For the Lord hath chosen Zion.” That, my friend, is sovereign election! He has chosen for himself a people. What music in the ears of afflicted David! Zion is chosen by God, and therefore God desired it for His habitation. This is his rest for ever. Here God is pleased to dwell for He says, I have desired it. Does God dwell in your heart?
David’s resolution to establish a place for God’s holy presence teaches us that the one great purpose of God’s King is to build God’s temple. Nothing is more important to the kingdom of God than the worship of God. God’s presence with His people is their joy and God’s glory.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephratah (the field of woods). He would have no house to call His own. He would create it. By His atonement, suffering, death, and resurrection, the temple destroyed is the temple raised up in three days. Jesus declared, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Jesus gathers and builds His church by His Spirit and Word. What a house for God!
As we go up to God’s house this coming Sunday, may we rejoice! The Lord hath chosen Zion. We are His church by sovereign election and grace. The Lord Jesus desires His church for His habitation. He is pleased to dwell in our hearts and be worshipped by us. Jesus Christ rested from His work, having defeated sin, Satan, and death. He arose from the dead.
May we enjoy our Sabbath; we rest from our labors. We rest in the accomplished work of our Savior. God’s worshippers no longer gather around one physical location. We worship Christ in the Holy Spirit regardless where they meet for public worship, for we are the temple of God. That is wonderful to hear in this time with government restrictions because of Covid-19. The Samaritan woman asked Jesus if the correct place of worship was in Samaria or Jerusalem? Jesus answered, that yes, it was Jerusalem. But the day was coming when that no longer mattered. What mattered was that one worship in Spirit and in truth.
Christ dwells in the hearts and lives of His people! Let us pray on this coming Lord’s Day, “Thy kingdom come.” May it be that Christ’s kingdom comes more and more in my own heart. May it be that Christ’s kingdom comes as Christ continues to gather more and more of His people.