And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn. – 2 Samuel 6:14-15
The Songs of Ascents continue today with a celebration of the events recorded in 2 Samuel 6 and 7. If you’ll recall, David’s conquest of Jerusalem and establishment of his capital there was a moment of national celebration. The Philistines were subdued, the nation was united, and the Ark of the Covenant was brought, after hundreds of years of temporary residences, to a permanent home. Later, David wishes to build a temple for the LORD in Jerusalem, but instead the LORD promises to build him a house, which 2 Samuel 7 explains and Psalm 132 celebrates. It’s possible that Psalm 133, which celebrates how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!... connects to this moment as well.
Psalm 135 introduces a unit that will carry through a series of chapters. The Psalm itself has six distinct sections. It is introduced with a call to Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good… For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself. This is followed by an affirmation of the LORD’s supremacy, for whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth…
In the third section, beginning in verse 8, the writer gives his listeners a brief history lesson, the details of which support his previous assertions. Verses 13 and 14 are in the second person – directed toward the LORD Himself – but its pronouncements are for human ears. This is followed by a commentary on the idols of the nations, and, finally, a benediction that lands back where it started: O house of Israel, Bless the LORD…
Our verse for this week is James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Psalms 132 through 135. Now let’s read it!
Psalms 132 - 135
132:1 Remember, O LORD, in David's favor,
all the hardships he endured,
how he swore to the LORD
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
“I will not enter my house
or get into 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 fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place;
let us worship at his footstool!”
Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
The LORD swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
their sons also forever
shall sit on your throne.”
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place:
“This is my resting place forever;
here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provisions;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
and her saints will shout for joy.
There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but on him his crown will shine.”
133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
134:1 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the LORD!
May the LORD bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!
135:1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the name of the LORD,
give praise, O servants of the LORD,
who stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his own possession.
For I know that the LORD is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt,
sent signs and wonders
against Pharaoh and all his servants;
who struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings,
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
and gave their land as a heritage,
a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
For the LORD will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
they have eyes, but do not see;
they have ears, but do not hear,
nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them become like them,
so do all who trust in them.
O house of Israel, bless the LORD!
O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
O house of Levi, bless the LORD!
You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
he who dwells in Jerusalem!
Praise the LORD!