By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: Psalms 131-133
Key Scripture Verses: Psalm 132:4, 13-14 (NIV, Life Application Bible)
“I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
“For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, ‘This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.’”
Our key scripture texts are from a psalm by an unknown writer, although the psalmist clearly speaks of David’s faithfulness and his restlessness, the promise by God to David to keep one of his descendants on the throne of Israel, and Israel being God’s chosen people. This psalm speaks of David’s desire to build the Lord’s temple which was later built by his son, Solomon. David was restless because of this not having been yet accomplished. This psalm is very much a psalm of mutual love and respect—David’s desire to please God and God’s desire to live among his people with David’s descendants on the throne.
In his restlessness, David was bothered by the fact that the Ark of the Covenant, historically, kept in the Tabernacle behind a veil in the Holy of Holies, remained in a tent and did not have a majestic temple to reside in. As you may remember, the Ark of the Covenant and its holy seat represented where the Lord was felt to rest in their presence. David was disturbed that God’s house was yet a tent. He could not sleep or rest until he had made provision for a temple and so he began to work on plans for building it.
Eventually the temple was built and God has kept his promise of keeping one of David’s descendants on the throne, because Jesus was a descendant of David and now reigns forever.
Clearly God has chosen Zion—his dwelling on the hill where the New Jerusalem will be in the future, his “resting place for ever and ever.”
David clearly loved God and it is no wonder that he was referred to as the “man after my own heart,” in the eyes of God. And God blessed him and his son, Solomon, for following him and doing his will.
Because David was so close to God, he was restless and unable to be at peace until he had accomplished God’s will to build the temple. Are we restless enough to see to it that we please God? If the Holy Spirit dwells within us and we are faithful in our worship, we will know when God has a plan we need to carry out and we may remain restless until we are able to humble ourselves before him and to do what he desires. May we pay attention and not ignore his calling. We may be surprised how when we face what is difficult or seems impossible how our loving God will bless the work we do on his behalf. May we have the faith of David to do what God requires.