“O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured; how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, “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.”
We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.” (Psalms 132:1-7)
In the time of King David, God resided in specific places and it was there that the followers of God journeyed to worship God. This is one of the changes that comes in the New Testament, and with Jesus coming to earth. God, we now believe, can be found anywhere and everywhere.
You can imagine (and it is appropriate with Advent “just around the corner”) how surprising it was for Jesus (God come to earth) to be born in a stable when King David spared no effort and expense to find a resting place for the symbols of God; and that King Solomon built a house of worship for God.
“Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy.” (Verse 9)
Compare this then with Jesus who traveled with his disciples, and visited and ministered to people who were considered to be very unrighteous.
“For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one. The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne. If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.” (Verses 10-12)
We know that while David’s son Solomon followed God, the grandsons and great grandsons of David did not. And the throne was taken from them. BUT, this is where another interesting thing occurs; while Jesus as the son of God was Divine, as an earthly man he was in the line of David. And therefore kin to David. While David’s offspring might have broken the covenant that resulted in kingship, God was faithful on the God-self’s side, and provided a king above all other kings in the line of David.
“For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation: “This is my resting place forever;
here I will reside, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread. Its priests I will clothe with salvation, and its faithful will shout for joy. There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one. His enemies I will clothe with disgrace, but on him, his crown will gleam.” ( Verses 13 -18)
These verses are not part of the established set of RCL passages, but are offered as possible verses for meditation and worship. Again, consider the radical theological idea that God and Christ desires to reside in our hearts. When God could have chosen splendor and glory for the Lord’s habitation, instead the Divine chooses our hearts. Granted, they must be contrite, humble and obedient hearts. But we are given the same chance to have the blessings that were given to David; not kingship, no. But communion and relationship with God.
As we prepare to move from ordinary time to the time of Advent, let us keep in mind that gift and blessing that God’s desire for intimacy with us is. Selah!