Psalm 132

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Title: The Promises of God

Text: Psalm 132

We’ll be in three different passages this morning; Psalm 132; 2 Samuel 7; 2 Chronicles 6.40-42

Introduction: The Psalms of Ascent are reaching a crescendo. The people are probably standing within sight of the Temple and maybe have even entered in. They have worship and sang as they made their way to this place. The journey has been a constant reminder of where they’ve been and where they’re going. Don’t miss that statement. It is filled with information. The journey has been a constant reminder of where they’ve been and where they’re going. First, it has been a historical lesson. 2nd, It has been a theological lesson. Most importantly, it has been a reminder to them of God’s continued faithfulness.

And Psalm132? It is all three of those wrapped up in one psalm. History, Theology, God’s Faithfulness

You might note that it is the longest of the Psalms Of Ascent. This Psalm is composed of poetic beauty. The symmetry and beauty might not be evident with just a cursory reading. So, allow me a moment to show you the poetic side of this poem before we dig deeper into these areas of history and theology. What I’d like to do first is put the outline up on the screen and walk you through it – just to show you the balance, the beauty, and structure. Then, we’ll secondly, we’ll walk through each verse making note of what’s happening. You’ll see that certain words are repeated and then, digging deeper, you should stand amazed at its beauty and complex structure. But, even more so, you should find yourself amazed at who God is and what he’s done and still doing. Observe:

  • David’s Oath to God (1-2)
    • David’s desire for God’s dwelling place (3-5)
      • Worship of God by the priests, the people and the anointed king (6-9)
        • A prayer for God to bless his anointed (10)
  • God’s Oath to David (11-12)
    • God’s desire for his dwelling place (13-15)
      • God’s provision for the priests, the people and the anointed king (16-17)
        • God’s promise to bless his anointed (18)

David desires and works to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. He lived in this beautiful house but was bothered by the fact that God’s house had always been in a tent – going all the way back to Moses. That’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of 400-500 years. Maybe longer!

Ill.: You could make a comparison to that of the US. Let’s say we had some religious symbol from when the Pilgrims made their way over in the early 1600’s. Are you picturing this? Let’s say it was something they carried with them on the Mayflower. And for the past 400 years, it has been kept in a tent. It’s really hard to imagine, isn’t it? It would be like we have this icon of sorts that the United States has kept in a tent for the last 400 plus years and only now is President Trump deciding to build a magnificent edifice to house this artifact, this icon.

App.: An Ark in a moving tent is all the Israelites have ever known. Since coming up out of Egypt. And David wants to change that.

Look with me in Psalm 132.1; you might have forgotten this, but David was anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel. And then, he ended up on the run from Saul. He ran because Saul wanted him dead. He slept outside and in caves. He found refuge in foreign countries, with foreign enemies of Israel. He was a wanted man and his life was indeed in danger. This wasn’t for just a few weeks. This wasn’t for just a few months. This dragged on for some time – years, even.

Added to this, David could have assassinated the King at various times. But would not touch God’s anointed. He knew God had made Saul King and that God would bring his reign to an end. It wasn’t David’s call to make. It was God’s call. And so he did his time and waited patiently on the Lord.

The Psalms are filled with David’s cries for mercy and justice against his enemies.

But in spite of all of this, David saw the goodness of God toward him. He was humble and submissive to what God had planned – even though it took a long time to come about, David trusted God.

Rd v 2-5; there is, of course, poetic license here. But you see his passion. You see his desire.

Eventually, David becomes king. He lives in a beautiful palace. David then brings up the Ark of God to Jerusalem. There is a great celebration when He does this. You can go back to 2 Samuel 6 and read up on this. It is a fascinating story of Uriah being killed when he touched the Ark to steady it. David leaves the Ark behind until he figures out what he’s supposed to do. He has this tremendous respect for the Ark of God. But, finally, he brings that Ark to Jerusalem. Remember his wife Michal despised David as he danced before that Ark of God celebrating with all his might as the Ark is marched into Jerusalem?

That part of the story is repeated in v. 6-7-8; rd v 6-8;

Now, He’s brought it to Jerusalem and feels a pang of guilt that he lives in a place, but God’s Ark dwells in a tent. And he sees the Ark of God dwelling in a tent and he knows in his heart that “this ain’t right.” So he inquires of Nathan of building a Temple for the Ark to dwell. But of course, God says no. cf.: 2 Samuel 7.1-2

David wants to build a house for God, but God promises instead to build a house for David. He gives certain clues, if you will, that he will do this.

  1. David won’t build the Temple, but his son will do this. God has promised him a lineage, a heritage and evidence of this are in the promise of a Son who will build God’s house. Rd 2 Sam. 7.8-16; This is a prophecy about two people: Solomon and Jesus. Neither has been born yet. Solomon’s momma is Bathsheba – with whom David will have an affair in chapter 11.
  2. Solomon does build the Temple of the Lord. Part of this text is read when it is dedicated. Rd 8-10; Turn to 2 Chronicles 6.41-42. Solomon is the partial fulfillment of this promise. And, in a very real sense, so is every son who continues in the lineage of David, all the way down to Jesus.

Now, keep this in mind as we continue in Psalm 132. We’ve reached the half-way point of this Psalm: David is passionate about God and he’s done all he can to build a house for the Ark of God to dwell. God promises David to build him a house and to verify it, he will give him a son who will continue to reign over Israel (that’s David house) and that son will build a house for the Ark. And God keeps his promise. BUT, David never sees it. He dies before it happens. He really only sees it through the eyes of faith.

Back in Psalm 132, continuing in v 11, where the Psalm switches its focus from David to the Lord. Rd v 11-12;

Here is our first application – one item I don’t want you to miss: God chose David’s line to bring the Messiah through. The Pilgrims who are citing this Psalm know this. We read about this throughout the OT and into the NT: The Messiah would be born of the house and lineage of David. Solomon wasn’t that Messiah. Their Leader, who looked very similar to David, Zerubabbel, he was not that Messiah. But they knew that the Messiah was coming. They knew he was to be a descendant from David.


Don’t you think this would be exciting for those people – those pilgrims who’ve journeyed from afar to get to this place and be reminded of this fact? Keep this text within its context for a moment. They know this story just as you and I’ve reviewed it. Of course, Jesus is still just a dream to them, but they know one day, A David-like king would come and rescue them. And just as David had God’s promise and died before seeing it, but had faith that it would be, they knew God had promised them – And God’s promises are true, even though they may seem like it is taking forever for him to fulfill those promises. That’s what Faith is…

Consider this: this text, at least verses 8-10, are used sometime around 970 BC. Just about 1000 years before Christ would die on the Cross of Calvary. 1000 years! But, God would still keep his promise!

And yet, these people, some 500 years, maybe 600 years after this promise, they’re still gathering and singing and hoping and watching for that Messiah. This had to be hard. That means it was put together after there was no longer a king serving on the throne. Jeconiah went into exile and had no children. He died without a son to inherit the kingdom. It would appear that God’s promise of a king from the house and line of David had failed! Added to this, now, is the fact that the Temple had been destroyed and God’s children had been sent into exile. Had these two precious promises of God failed? Added to this: This Psalm is in the 5th book of Psalms. You know that this Book was put together after the children had returned from exile with no king and a Temple just a shell of its former glory.

Do you understand what this means for this people to sing?

1st app.: God chose David.

Let’s continue on: rd v 13a. We can stop right there and write down our 2nd application: God chose Zion for his dwelling place. Here is the sad part of that promise – the people wouldn’t love and care for it like God does.

  1. Consider Jeremiah 7.1-11; God chose David and God chose Zion, but the people began to regard it as tradition and possession.
  2. Consider Jesus’ use of this passage as the people in his day had made the House of God a place of Commerce. Remember when he turned over the tables of the money changers and John tells us that he drove them out with a whip that he fashioned from cords. It is sad to think that the people thought they had God trapped within those walls and they could isolate him from their lives. And use him whenever times got tough.

Ah, does this sound familiar to anyone? Does this sound like America? I can see the leaders of our Country standing outside the Capital singing God Bless America. And then make a mockery of our democracy with their behavior these past few weeks all for political gain – to keep the killing of unborn babies their priority – the shedding of innocent blood.

Rd 13-17; God has promised and they’re singing and believing… But how it fades as the years go by.

They forget to look for this one spoken of in v 17-18. Rd 17-18

Two reminders for us in this:

  1. Christ has come and if you’ve never surrendered your life to him – let today be the day.
  2. Christ is coming again. I know it seems like he never will, that things will just continue to go from bad to worse. But let us sing and praise and worship today – even if we never get to see that promised fulfilled in our lifetimes – let us sing with the faith of those who know and believe. Let us see it with our faith. Because we’re promised that one day – one day our faith will become sight.

Invitation: We’re going to have a moment of silence – to reflect upon these promises. I don’t know of your life, but I want you to be honest before God. We’ll be dismissed at the end of our prayer time together and then we’ll gather in the back for a time of fellowship. If you have a decision on your heart, will you come to talk to us about it?


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Filed under Psalms, Psalms of Ascent, Scripture, Sermon

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