A Song of Ascents. LORD, remember David [And] all his afflictions; 2 How he swore to the LORD, [And] vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: 3 “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, Or go up to the comfort of my bed; 4 I will not give sleep to my eyes [Or] slumber to my eyelids, 5 Until I find a place for the LORD, A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” 6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; We found it in the fields of the woods. 7 Let us go into His tabernacle; Let us worship at His footstool. 8 Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. 9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your saints shout for joy. 10 For Your servant David’s sake, Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed. 11 The LORD has sworn [in] truth to David; He will not turn from it: “I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body. 12 If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I shall teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.” 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired [it] for His dwelling place: 14 “This [is] My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. 15 I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation, And her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17 There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed. 18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”PSALM 132:1-18
I JUST WANT TO BE CLOSER TO YOU
I have a little girl. I love her and she loves me. At dinner time she often clamors to have the seat right next to mine or across from me so she can see my face. She loves to be right next to me. I enjoy putting my arm around her. I love talking with her. I love hearing about her day. I love her fun little questions and jokes. We really like hanging out together.
That’s the way David felt about the Lord. He loved the Lord. He wanted to be near the Lord. He spent great effort to prepare a place for the temple. He wanted to be physically near the Lord’s presence as he possibly could (God is present everywhere, but he was specially present with the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle and later the temple) .
The psalmist uses the name, “Mighty One of Jacob,” which recalls another Old Testament character. Jacob wrestled with God (Gen. 32) and from that day forward he walked with a limp (and probably a smile)! This Psalm is all about the intense desire to be in the presence of God, even when it costs you something (and the subsequent blessings of being near God as well!)
I got to thinking, I love Sundays because I love the LORD. Its a day that we get to draw near in a different way than we do through out the week. I love reading God’s word and studying with many of you. Because in God’s word I hear from Him and meet with Him! I love studying, preaching, giving, and living out my calling because I love God. Like David I want to be near him in every way I can. Like Jacob, I’ve been touched by him in a way that causes me to never walk the same.
I understand burnout in ministry. I imagine I’ve been closer than I’d like to admit. There were moments where the load was too big to carry on my own, but it didn’t stop me from trying. Burn out is what happens when we forget to go to the spring for ourselves and we get tired and thirsty trying to carry living water for everyone else. It’s ministry from bottom of a dry bucket rather than ministry from the overflow of what God is doing in our lives.
This psalm should challenge us to examine our lives and our routines. Are we just going through the motions? Do we invest in our relationship with God merely when it is convenient or do we sacrifice (Discipline ourselves) for the sake of growing in our relationship with God? It takes sacrifice to be consistently with the people of God, it takes discipline to draw near to God on days that it would be easier to skip reading in the scripture. It is all so much easier when your endgame is just to sit a little closer with the Lord because you love him.
Father, I just want to be near you! I just want to draw close to you today. So often when it seems like you are far off and I think you’ve moved on me, I pick up my head and notice that I’m the one who is out of step with you! Thank you for your incredible grace and mercy that is so abundant in my life. There are moments where I just have to confess that all I can see is your blessing and unmerited favor. Keep me from trying to deliver to others that which I haven’t taken time to experience myself, Renew me each day in your spirit. Energize me in your grace. May my passion burn hot for you. In Jesus Name, Amen!
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.