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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Psalm 132:13-16 - Desire of God to dwell in Zion

The author describes the Lord’s response to the prayer that was made in verses 7-9. As with other similar Old Testament passages we have to read this psalm with New Testament eyes. Zion is not a geographical location in modern-day Israel, rather it describes the church of God (Heb. 12:22-24). 

The author mentions that the Lord chose Zion for his dwelling place. Originally Zion was a Canaanite location. It illustrates the sinful background of the members of the church. It was an act of grace for the Lord to dwell on the ark in a place that had known pagan inhabitants, but it is a far greater act of grace for him to choose to dwell in the hearts of those who once were rebels against him. But this choice was not forced upon him; instead he desired it with all his heart. 

This dwelling of God in his people will be eternal (v. 14). He will be content, permanently delighted to dwell with them. The Lord has no desire to change his place of abode. His redeemed will be his companions and joy forever. 

In the dwelling place of God there will be no starvation (v. 15). The members of the church are poor in spirit. But in God they have plenty: ‘Daily provision, royal provision, satisfying provision, overflowingly joyful provision the church shall receive; and the divine benediction shall cause us to receive it with faith, to feed upon it by experience, to grow upon it by sanctification, to be strengthened by it to labour, cheered by it to patience, and built up by it to perfection’ (Spurgeon).

Further, his servants are given the garments of salvation and this causes them to sing for joy. In the Old Testament temple, only a few were priests; in the church, which is the permanent temple of God, they all are priests. And none of them is silent; each of them has something to say to God. 

In verses 17 and 18, the Lord answers the prayer of verse 10. The ultimate fulfilment is seen in the Lord’s anointed, Jesus. God says about his Messiah that his kingdom will grow permanently (horn will sprout) and his light will shine permanently. The reference to a horn seems to be taken from the horns of a stag that, as they grow, point to its increasing nobility and strength. 

The period in which the horn is sprouting is also the period in which the lamp is shining. Here is a reference to Jesus as the light of the world. Today, as he sits on the divine throne possessing all power, he is also the source of spiritual light that is being spread throughout the world out of Zion. 

Verse 18 details that those who oppose Jesus will be clothed with shame. Their combined opposition will not prevent his crown from flourishing.

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