In January 2020, the German government announced that they had created a “help desk” for families who were trying to recover artwork looted by the Nazis during World War II. For many families, the paintings represent an important connection to parents or grandparents who had died in the Holocaust. There was a sense of joy and relief when a long-lost piece of art was returned home.
Psalm 132 tells of two important commitments. The first was David’s commitment to return the Ark of the Covenant back to its central location in Israel’s worship. He “swore an oath” and “made a vow” not to rest until this job was completed (vv. 2–5). The Ark was not lost. After its capture by the Philistines and subsequent return, it had been residing at Kiriath Jearim (1 Sam. 4–6). The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence among His people and needed to be treated with respect. David was eventually successful in bringing the Ark into Jerusalem at a temporary dwelling until the Temple could be built (2 Sam. 6). This provided a focal place for Israel to worship the Lord.
The second commitment was made by the Lord to David. He promised that a descendant of David would sit on the throne in Israel “for ever and ever” (Ps. 132:12). He also committed to dwell in Jerusalem and bless it (vv. 13–16). But we should not skip past the “if” statement in verse 12. God expected David’s descendants to be faithful to the Law. If they disobeyed God, there would be consequences, including exile to Babylon and the destruction of the Temple. Even so, God promised that He would ultimately keep his commitment to David (v. 11).
>> Jesus is the promised descendant of David (Rom. 1:1–6). Today, Jesus reigns at the right hand of the Father. And, we look forward to the day when He will come again (Rev. 20:4–6). Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s commitment to David and to us!
We may envy those who lived in Israel when Jesus walked the earth, but what a privilege we have to live now, when we can look back and see so many of Your prophecies explicitly fulfilled! The past bolsters our hope for the future.