Psalm 132: Dwell in Us

Psalm 132 is a Messianic history Psalm. It tells the story of David vowing not to rest until he had built a house in Jerusalem for the ark of the covenant. God, in turn, honors David’s devotion by promising that one of his descendants will forever occupy the throne in Jerusalem. Today we understand this promise to be fulfilled in Jesus.

There are lots of interesting things going on in the Psalm: symmetry between David and God’s oaths, the themes of rest and dwelling place, and the righteousness, justice, and food (!) that comes with the reign of David’s Son.

However, Psalm 132 doesn’t make for particularly good singing!

I chose to tease out the Advent overtones of the Psalm, inviting God to make a dwelling place in our hearts. Then I simply let the Psalm tell its own story, with the full Psalm text chanted verbatim in a new paraphrase made especially for singing.

Dwell in us.
Rest in us.
Fill us with your love.
Give our hearts
songs of joy.

Son of David, come.

1) O Lord, remember David;
remember all his trials.
2-4) Remember how he swore to the Lord,
how he vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not enter my house;
I will not go to bed;
I will not go to sleep;
I will not close my eyes
5) until I find a house for the Lord—
a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6-7) We learned about it in Ephrathah;
we heard the news in the fields of Jaar.
Let us go to the house of the Lord;
let us worship at the footstool of God.
8) Arise, O Lord, and enter your dwelling place—
you and your ark of might.
9) May your priests be clothed in righteousness;
may your people sing for joy. CHORUS

10) O Lord, for the sake of your servant David,
do not forget your anointed one.
11) For the Lord swore to David,
a vow he will not revoke:
12) “One of your own descendants
I will place upon your throne.
If your children will keep my covenant
and follow my commandments,
their children will sit on your throne forever.”
13) For the Lord has chosen Zion,
God has chosen it as his dwelling place.

14-15) Saying: “This is my resting place forever;
I have desired it and here I will remain.
I will bless her abundantly;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16) I will clothe your priests in righteousness
and make all her people sing for joy.” CHORUS

17) I will establish the throne of David,
a lamp for my anointed one.
18) I will clothe his enemies in shame,
but adorn David with a crown.
16) I will clothe your priests in righteousness
and make all her people sing for joy.” CHORUS

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