A song of degrees
The Lord’s Temple
1: LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions: 2: How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; 3: Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 4: I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, 5: Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. 6: Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. 7: We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. 8: Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. 9: Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. 10: For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. 11: The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 12: If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. 13: For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 14: This is my rest for ever: here will I 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 will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 18: His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
A song of degrees of David
1: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2: It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
A song of degrees
Those who serve at night
1: Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. 2: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. 3: The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
Today we are reading the last three Psalms No 132, 133 & 134. Psalm 132 describes Hezekiah’s zeal for the house of the Jehovah. Hezekiah when he came to his reign was the first to open the doors of the house of the Lord.
2Chron 29v3: He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
Isa 37v14: And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
2Kings 20v8: And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
Isa 38v20: The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD. 21: For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. 22: Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?
In this Psalm Hezekiah says, Oh LORD remember David and all his troubles. David vowed to the Lord that he would not go into the tabernacle or even go to his bed, nor sleep until he found a place for the LORD - a place for the ark. David heard of the ark in Bethlehem when he was in the wood with his men. He said, we will go into the tabernacles and we will worship at his throne. He calls for the Lord to bring the ark into the place where it should rest. Let the priests be ready and may the people sing to the Lord. Hezekiah says, remember David and do not turn away you face from me your anointed king. You promised to David that one of his children would sit on his throne. And if his children were teachable then his royal house would continue forever. You promised that this city would be your place of rest. And that you would abundantly provide - giving bread to the poor and clothes for the priests and joy for the saints. There David’s sons would grow and flourish. The Lord would ordain a means of light for the king. And his enemies would be covered in shame but his crown would blossom. In Psalm 133 we have the childlessness of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was sick and he had no heir. The promise of 2Sam 7v12 seemed to be about to fail. He trusted in God not only to deliver him from his enemies but also to keep his promise that there would always be a man of David’s line to sit on the throne of Israel. The Lord sent Isaiah to Hezekiah with the promise of a son.
2Kings 20v18: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
Isa 39v7: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 8: Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
After three years Manasseh was born. So this Psalm of David is placed here by Hezekiah and Hezekiah had insisted that the northern kingdom should also come down to celebrate the Passover so he says, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Hezekiah says it is like the anointing oil of Aaron which came down his beard to the skirts of his garments. Unity is like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, because there the LORD commanded the blessing, eternal life. Unity of brethren is like the joy of the anointing of the Lord and the blessing of God on the mountains of the Lord. But disunity is like the helplessness of the priesthood and drought in Israel. In Psalm 134 we have the last of the fifteen Psalms of the degrees. The Passover was always the symbol of Israel’s spiritual revival. When Israel was away from the Lord the people did not celebrate the Passover but now they are delivered and they want to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. The time of Passover had already gone but Hezekiah resolved to celebrate it in the second month instead. See Num 9v1-11 2Chron 30v1-3. Hezekiah insisted that it would be for all Israel so the northern tribes came down to celebrate it. 2Chron 30v5,6,11,18, 25,26. Psalm 133 celebrates this great event in Israel’s history. It was a Psalm of David when he also managed to unite all Israel as one man. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together as one. Again this last Psalm is very short. Hezekiah says, bless the LORD all you servants of the LORD. (the priests) who stand all night in the tabernacle. Lift up your hands and bless the Lord. And the LORD who is creator of heaven and earth will bless you from out of Zion.
- What did David want to do for the Lord and how does this mark a sea change in the culture of Israel?
- What is the beauty that the Psalmist describes?
- Who is blessed in the last Psalm?