Thursday, November 17, 2016


"Remember, O Lord, on David's behalf,
All his affliction;
How he swore to the Lord
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
'Surely I will not enter my house,
Nor lie on 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.'
Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah,
We found it in the field of Jaar (the wood).
Let us go into His dwelling place;
Let us worship at His footstool.
Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your godly ones sing for joy."

Okay, let's remember.  David wanted to be the one to build the temple.  But God said, "No."  He had too much blood on his hands.  His job had been to fight to establish the kingdom, but the building of the temple was to be the job of his son Solomon, the one to which was given wisdom and riches.  In the meanwhile, as a result of David's struggle, his affliction, it inspired the gift of the Psalms, his music for his time as well as all time.  How much richer we are because of his Psalms, from which worship rises up within us even outside the walls of the temple or the church.

In the meanwhile, David did what any good father would do: he did whatever possible to ensure his dream was passed down and that provision to accomplish this burning desire was  gathered to be passed down to his son.   He chose the site for the temple and accumulated treasure and building materials for its building.  David promised that he would not want enter into his house or sleep until he found the dwelling place for God. 

Hmm.  This promise reminds me of the vow that Bathsheba's husband gave when David called him home from the war so that the man could go into his wife to cover the pregnancy that had resulting from David's sin with Bathsheba.  Instead, this man refused to go into his wife, to go into his own home while soldiers were still out fighting.  Scratch Plan A.  David went on to Plan B. to manipulate the battle plan that would insure the death of his most loyal warrior so that David could marry Bathsheba who was pregnant with his child.  Yes, David had blood on his hands, too much to build the temple.  But in God's mercy, though the first son died as was the prophecy of the prophet, the consequence of their sin, the second son Solomon was to build the temple. (A small hint of the first Adam with whom death entered the world, and the second Adam which would bring the resting place of God down to us.)

David had found the Ark of the Covenant which was in the fields of the woods of Kirjath-jearim. Before it had resided in Ephraim for 328 years from the days of Joshua to Samuel, then was moved to Kirjath Jearim, where it remained 70 years  When David brought it to Jerusalem, there was much rejoicing led by David dancing before it.  Once again, here is my poem about that time...


The Ark was coming home,
God's presence to abide.
David, a heart after God,
Had nothing to hide.

David danced back to the Garden
That day, unashamed,
Celebrating God's presence,
Oneness reclaimed.

He danced before the Lord
With all his might.
One looked on also
But despised the sight.

David, shameless before the Lord
Where intimacy uncovers
Knew 'tis better to be chosen and live
Where the Spirit hovers.

For judgement from afar
is bold, but barren, spurned.
Oh, dance into joy!
Has the Ark returned?

"We may appear like deluded or demented people to the Michals laughing at us from the window;
but the ark of God is with us; we know the truth, our mouth is filled with holy laughter, our heart with praises, and so we can stand with perfect resignation the amusement of an unbelieving world."  Carradine, "The Old Man'" (Rev. Carradine was one of my great-grandfather's dear friends.)

This describes David's joy, why he was a man after God's own heart.   This joy is not susceptible to anyone's approval but God Himself.

"Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your godly ones sing for joy."
(verse 9)

"Let them be as remarkable for inward holiness,
as they are for the splendor of their holy vestments...
Inwardly, in heart and soul." (Adam Clarke)

So let Your godly ones sing for joy!
And what do you know,
this is the Psalm written to sing
when they entered the temple,
for the godly ones to sing.
Keep singing,
ye godly ones.
Yep, that's you.

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