A Song of Degrees.
Psalms 132:1. LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions.
God had entered into an everlasting covenant with David, “ ordered in all things and sure,” and in this Psalm either David himself or some of his people or descendants pleaded that covenant in time of affliction and trial: “Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions.” The Lord would not forget either David or his people, yet it pleased him for them to come before him in prayer, and to remind him of the covenant that he had made with his servant. Using this prayer in a gospel sense, we bow before the Lord, and cry, “Lord, remember Jesus, the Son of David, and all his afflictions; remember all that he endured as his people’s Substitute, and have pity upon us, for his sake, as we plead that eternal covenant which thou hast made with him on our behalf.” That ancient covenant was made With David and the far more ancient covenant of grace was made with great David’s greater Son,” our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Psalms 132:2-5. How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 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.
David remembered that he had built himself a palace, but he wished even more ardently to build a palace for his God, a house for the celebration of his worship: “ an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.” But where can a worthy house be built for God ? Where can there be made a fit dwelling place for the Most High ? He filleth all things, yet all things cannot contain him. There is but one dwelling place of God, it is in Christ Jesus, for “ in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Oh ! how we ought to thank God that he has provided himself a fitting dwelling place in the person of his dear Son, in whom all believers also are builded together for a habitation of God through the spirit. As for the ark of the covenant, it had long ago in David’s day dwelt in obscurity.
Psalms 132:6. Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.
God is willing to dwell in the woods. Many a time he does so. In many a cottage far removed from the haunts of men, God is found; and to many a backwoodsman God is as near as he is to those who worship him in temple or cathedral. “ We found it in the fields of the wood.”
Psalms 132:7. We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.
This Psalm is called “ A Song of degrees.” Notice the steps here described. We heard of it, we found it, we will go into it, we will worship in it. It is a good thing when, in our prayers and praises, we ascend step by step,-not on the stepping-stones of our dead selves, which is a piece of rubbish,-but by the living stepping-stones upon which the ever-living Spirit helps us to rise tier above tier, his own almighty hand helping us continually to rise higher and higher.
Psalms 132:8. Arise, O LORD into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.
Let us pray that the Lord may constantly find rest in the midst of his people. He finds rest in them because they are one with his well-beloved Son. Come, Lord, at this moment, and take thy rest in the midst of this assembly, and make us all rest in thee.
Psalms 132:9. And let thy priests be clothed with righteousness;
This is the best robe for all God’s holy ones, who are priests and kings unto him; this is better than snow white linen or robes bedecked with crimson and gold.
Psalms 132:9. And let thy saints shout for joy.
The worship of God should be very gladsome and even demonstrative. We may shout. Sometimes the overflowings of joy demand more than ordinary expression, therefore we pray, “ Let thy holy ones shout for joy.”
Psalms 132:10. For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.
Much more may we ask this for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake. O God, remember thy Son, our Lord and our King, and for his sake look in love and pity upon us today !
Psalms 132:11-12. The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.
Long did the house of David reign over Israel; but they proved unfaithful, and therefore the sceptre passed out of their hands, but it is still in the hand of another Son of David. In a spiritual sense Jesus Christ has a throne and a dominion that shall know no end.
“ Jesus shall reign wherever the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”
Psalms 132:13. For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
The literal Zion was the Lord’s habitation for a time, but the spiritual Zion will be his dwelling place throughout eternity.
Psalms 132:14. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
God rests in his people; the whole company of the redeemed shall be his abiding place for ever.
Psalms 132:15. I will abundantly bless her provision: will satisfy her poor with bread.
God sends the needful provision for his people, and sends his blessing with it. We are so poor that we have not even spiritual bread for our souls to eat unless he gives it to us; but here is his gracious promise, “ I will satisfy her poor with bread.” This he will do both literally and spiritually.
Psalms 132:16. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints, shall shout aloud for joy.
In the 9th verse we had a silver prayer, but here, in this 16th verse, we have a golden answer. The prayer of the psalmist was, “ Let thy saints shout for joy;” the Lord’s answer is, “Her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” God always gives good measure, pressed down, and running over. Often, we have not because we ask not, or because we ask amiss. His command to each one of us is, “ Open thy mouth wide,” and his promise is, “ I will fill it.” If you ask great things of him, he will give you yet greater things for he is “ able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
Psalms 132:17. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.
Oh, that today the horn of David might again bud! May every believer in Jesus feel the life of God reviving within him, and in many a case where there is no spiritual life at all may life divine begin today ! Pray for it, beloved; and then look for it, and you shall surely see it.
Psalms 132:18. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
We have no King but Jesus and his crown is always flourishing. It wears well upon a blessed head. Let us crown him once again this day with our gladsome praise and thanksgiving.