A Commitment to Worship

I will not enter my house or get into my bed, I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob” (vv. 3–5).

- Psalm 132:1–10

David stands out in Scripture as “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14), so if we want a model of what it means to love what the Lord loves, we will not go far wrong if we seek to learn our piety from David’s example. Of course, David was not a perfect man, as seen in his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 11–12). Yet when Nathan the prophet confronted David for his transgression, David agreed with the prophet that what he did was evil, and he threw himself on God’s mercy. He reflected what God loves by loving the truth enough not to hide his sin any longer and by loving divine mercy enough to believe that the Lord really does pardon those who forsake their sin (Ps. 51). This is what it means to be a person after God’s own heart.

That David was a man after God’s own heart is also seen in his commitment to the Lord’s worship. Because there is nothing more wonderful than the glory and holiness of the Lord (1 Chron. 16:29; Ps. 29:2), God seeks the exaltation of His name around the world. This benefits His creatures, for in worshiping Him they discover their true purpose and experience His blessed presence. It follows, then, that those who are committed to the worship of our Creator are men and women after His heart, for they have the same priorities that He does.

Psalm 132:3–5, in particular, illustrates David’s commitment to the praise of our Maker and King. As we see, finding a fit habitation for the Lord was so important to David that he vowed not to sleep until God had a house. We find the background of these verses in 2 Samuel 5–6, where we see that among David’s first actions was to bring the ark of the covenant—the footstool of God’s throne—to Jerusalem, the city the Lord chose for the permanent dwelling of His special presence under the old covenant (Deut. 12:1–28). David could not rest until God had a proper sanctuary where His people could worship Him in truth, and this desire was not quenched after he brought the ark to the city. Instead, he made it his aim to build an even grander temple for the Lord, although God told him this goal was to be fulfilled by his son Solomon (2 Sam. 7:1–17).

Under the new covenant, one of the primary ways that we show the same kind of commitment to God’s worship that David had is to live as temples that are fit for divine habitation. We are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16–17), and holy lives form the environment in which the Lord is glad to dwell and through which He is most rightly worshiped.

Coram Deo

Augustine of Hippo comments on today’s passage: “Dost thou wish to be a place for the Lord? Be thou poor in spirit, and contrite, and trembling at the word of God, and thou wilt thyself be made what thou seekest.” In His grace, God calls us to Himself and chooses to dwell within us. We never have to fear that He will leave us, but we make ourselves vessels that are more fit for His presence as we pursue lives of holiness in faith and repentance.

Passages for Further Study

2 Kings 22:1–23:27
Luke 2:41–52
John 4:21–24
Romans 12:1–2

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