Today’s readings… Leviticus 24, Psalm 131-134, Luke 7
Psalm 132 provokes much personal thought. “Remember, O LORD, in David’s favour, all the hardships he endured, how he swore to the LORD and vowed … 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” [v.1-5] This strongly reminds us of the words of Jesus, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him” [John 14 v.23]
What a wonderful vision of the unseen! Is it truly real? We read Jesus’ words in Revelation, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him …” [3 v.20]. Do we read the Bible in a way that causes us to “hear”? Jesus seeks to make his abode in our heart! Each of us should ask ourselves, how “comfortable” would Jesus be in our hearts?
We find such questions disturbing! But think; why do Jesus and his Father seek to come? Is it not to strengthen and shed light so that the “spirit of the living God” has its’ effect “on tablets of human hearts” [2 Cor. 3 v.3] – and a wonderful result of this is that the dark spots in our hearts disappear!
The opening statement in the Psalm “I will not (even) enter my house …” makes us think of both Abraham and David. With Abraham “the LORD brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven … “ [Gen.15 v.5] And surely David also looked toward heaven when, as a young man he was keeping the sheep. An experience which resulted in Psalm 19; notice how it begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
So the first step in finding “a place for the LORD”, before we close our eyes in sleep each night, could be to go outside and look toward heaven and meditate. After that there are several appropriate Scriptures to meditate on as we prepare to close our eyes in peace for a night of rest. In his 1st letter the Apostle John makes the point, “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” [1 John 3 v.24]
Paul understood this, he told the Ephesians they were “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the spirit” [2 v.22], evidently a work in progress! He makes the point in Romans 8 “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God” [v.14]. To really “find a place for the LORD” is a totally humbling experience and lays the foundation for really ‘living’ a true life “in Christ.”