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The Ascent of God's Ark to Zion

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 19, 2020 8:00 am

The Ascent of God's Ark to Zion

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 19, 2020 8:00 am

We're back in the Psalms on The Bible Study Hour, and Psalm 132 is a song of celebration of the Ark of the Covenant coming to Jerusalem. Its also a celebration of what David did for Godbut more importantly, what God would do for David. Join Dr. James Boice as he unpacks Psalm 132, the longest of the Psalms of Ascent, and its promises for David and His people.

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The Ark of the covenant had been virtually forgotten by Israel under the reign of King Saul, but it was a reason for great celebration when the ark was rediscovered and brought to Its Resting Pl. in Jerusalem. Welcome to the Bible study of radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically, God's people rejoiced at the arts return.

But even greater with the promises God made to David and his people. He would bless them and he would bless David's heirs and his throne would be established forever. Join Dr. Boyce as he studies the Psalm of promise and blessing, and God's ultimate promise of a permanent throne to be established through the Messiah looking at us on the day that is a happy Psalm because it has to do with the celebration celebration of the coming of the ark of God to Jerusalem, and the time of King David. It's a very beautiful Psalm and I want to take a little time to describe the significance of the structure than we want to look at it carefully and see the direction in which it moves, it's the longest of these 15 Psalms of Ascent that we been studying for a time. It's almost twice as long as any other one that's sense it doesn't quite seem to fit, but yet it's appropriate and for several reasons.

For one thing, it was a song sung by pilgrims as they were making their way up to Jerusalem over the steep roads that led up to that high place and it's the same path that was taken by the ark of God.

When David brought it up to Jerusalem, so there's a correspondence there and then secondly it's chiefly about the ark. The ark was deposited in the most holy place of the temple on the Temple Mount so spiritually. This was really the goal of the pilgrimage of all these people.

They were moving to Jerusalem to the ark. In the second half. Beginning with verse 11. After little transition verse, verse 10 records God's corresponding oath in regard to David in which God promises David and ever lasting dynasty. What were going to see is that the promises in the second half from God or heightened versions of the promises that occur in the first half, which is something we discovered about God we serve him, but he's always ahead of us, blessing us far more than we can possibly do for him. Now it's worth asking who wrote the Psalm and when was it written verse 10 that little transition verse shows that it's not by David about David and appealing to God on the basis of David's file. It obviously therefore is written later. We don't know exactly who wrote it, or who saying this versus eight through 10 are quoted in the second Chronicles sex as part of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple. So Psalm probably dates from Solomon's reign, but it doesn't even mean that Solomon is speaking at it might've been somebody else writing about Solomon a few other references to the Psalm in the Bible. Stephen refers to verse five in his great speech before the Sanhedrin recorded in the seventh chapter of acts Peter refers to verse 11 in his great Pentecost sermon that's recorded in acts two and so forth. So is a very significant Psalm in the Bible whether you look backward, to which precedents or whether you look forward to the New Testament now.

I have already said several times that it focuses on David's promise to bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem and the Psalm really focuses on David as a matter fact if you look through it and circle the word David and client together, you'll find that you're really linking up all the various parts of the song David is mentioned there in verse one, oh Lord. Remember David and all the hardship he endured next versus tell about his vile verse 10 you have an appeal on the basis of what David is done for the sake of David, your servant, do not reject your anointed one in verse 11. David comes in again. The Lord swore an oath to David and then at the very end of the song if I David's name, verse 17. Here I will make horn growth for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. So that's about what David did almost from beginning to and what God does for David. Now David is recorded here as having made a vow to God that he would bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem and that he would not enter into his house or go to his bed or sleep or anything else until he finds a place for the Lord makes one wonder whether he was wise in making the vow we don't have to take his words literally, of course, when he says he's not going to sleep or eat until he instructs home for God building a temple for the ark in Jerusalem, presumably himself in the been foolish enough to mean that literally because building the temple would take a long time, but even so, even if you don't take the words literally.

You have to wonder whether he is wise in taking this power, whether we are wise when we take vows, generally speaking, is not a good thing to take vows because were unable generally to fulfill them. In any case, David was unable to fulfill it. Even if you don't take it literally. You know he is not the one who built the temple, although he did collect all of the things that would be needed for the building great cedars of Lebanon and the gold. All of that but it was actually his son Solomon, who did it.

Nothing is said elsewhere in the Bible about David taking about when you read about the construction of the temple and David's desire to do it back here in the historical books. Nothing is said about this is the only place in the Bible where the oath of David is mentioned and that something he didn't fulfill this significant. I think however that what is stressed here in the Psalm is not the fact that David didn't fulfill it, but that his intentions were good.

He really wanted to do something for the Lord and so that's what's acknowledged here. And God certainly bless them. David was concerned about God's glory in God's house and so use the expression of our only one of the land on the line where his zeal for God was concerned, it does lead us to ask the personal question. Are we equally intent on doing honor to God and God's house in our day.

Sadly, the majority of believers in the churches don't have anywhere near 1/10 of their income to the Lord and the Lord's work, let alone giving sacrificially, which is what David was trying to do, so that's the first portion here.

David's 06 versus two through four. Now in the next section verses six and following, we find how the ark was actually brought up to Jerusalem and that's an interesting little bit of historical record little historical remembrance, it's awful here to know just a little bit about what the ark was and that what had happened to it during the previous years.

Most of you will know that the ark was a box meant to contain the law of God, and the stone tables and a few other things was made out of wood with it was covered with gold and then it had a gold covering to covering made entirely of gold upon which there were figures of cherubim Angels faced one another over the roof of the ark, and that covering was called the mercy seat because that's the place where the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the day of atonement was on the basis of the shed blood that God showed mercy to the people and forgiving their sins now because it was covered with gold was a heavy thing and it was carried by priests on poles I had to be done in a certain way. People were not even allowed to look upon it, and so the priest when it came time for them to move the ark from one place to another. Had to very carefully cover it during the days of the wilderness wanderings. It was kept in the tabernacle, and whenever the people moved on their march. Everything was packed up including the ark and the ark, led by the priest actually led the way and when they were about to start out the great cloud the Shekinah glory that hovered over the tabernacle raised up and went before the people. Now that's the ark they were talking about when the people came to the Jordan River on the brink of their entry into the promised land. The ark carried by the priest led the way you recall that story you'll know that when the priest first set foot into the Jordan River, the waters parted and the ark, followed by the people were able to pass over on dry land.

When they got into the promised land. The ark was first deposited at Shiloh reference to that is in Joshua 18 after that it was somehow moved to Bethel reference to that is in Judges 20 and it stayed for a time at Mizpah reference here is to Judges 21 and finally 20 years.

It was capital place called Kerry off JR Rheem and the reference to that is first Samuel seven verse two.

That's where we pick up the story was all the hundred and 32 during the reign of Saul that preceded the rain of David, the ark of the covenant was so far forgotten that they didn't even know where it was and when David said we want to bring the ark up to Jerusalem, they had to scramble around and find it.

You know the story.

David actually danced before the ark as it was brought into the city. Now that's what we have referred to here briefly. One thing the people did as the ark was brought up was sing again or cry out again well-known marching cry of Israel from the wilderness days when the Shekinah glory and the ark went before them told about it in numbers 10. The people used to say, arise, O Lord, and come to your resting place you in the ark of your might. And that's exactly what's being referred to here in what I call this historical reminiscence. Now that's the past.

Verse 10 we have this transition, the reigning king. Your anointed one. There may be the one who is praying for blessing for the sake of your servant David, his predecessor, or it may be someone else praying here on behalf of the anointed king in reference to David. Then he rates he is interceding referring to David.

I suppose a light we need to apply that is by recognizing that when we apply to God for blessing we do so on the basis of our great king David's great successor Jesus Christ because it's in his name that we, you can come claiming the blessings of God.

The promises of God that we do it, not because of ourselves are who we are, we come claiming blessing or promises of God because of Jesus Christ and the fact that we belong to him by his purchase of us on the cross, but we need to apply it that way. As we begin to move on through here, we find that it has more and more to do with us because the direction of the psalmist toward the future, as were going to see now the second half of it, beginning with verse 11 is where the Psalm begins to focus not on David's oath on behalf of what he would do for God, but rather God's oath on behalf of David and what is going to do for David. This is a truncated or abbreviated version of the great promise to God that you have backed in the historical books, particularly in second Samuel seven David said he was going to do something for God and God and that great Revelation said well that's nice but actually I'm going to do something even greater for you, and God began to spell out what those blessings were first of all that God would establish the people in their own land that were already there, but he was going to establish them there. Secondly, God would give David and Aaron was going to succeed him was a very important thing in those days because Saul's air had not succeeded Saul and saw what they needed was stability in the kingdom of God promise that number three God would bless his successor, who turned out to be Solomon, God saying, however, that he would discipline him when he needed that and mentioning that this successor would be the one would actually build the temple and then forth in this great promise of God and second Samuel seven that the throne of David was going to be established forever as the most important thing because it points forward to the Messiah particular versus verse 16 where God says your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me. Your throne will be established forever. Now those of the promises that are picked up.

Although I say in a shortened or truncated version of the abbreviated version here in Psalm 132 or two levels of promise one has to do with God's promises to David and his immediate successors were going to rain upon the throne. And it has to do with blessings upon Israel and then second level promise has to do with the Messiah, who is yet to come. Now, as I said earlier. What is striking here is that these promises. In the second half relates to the prayers, or promises in the first half but the second half heightens the so what God actually does is greater than what was anticipated or prayed for, but let me give you some examples. First of all the people in their prayer recorded in the first half of the Psalm asked for righteousness with the priests when God promises in the second half is to close the priest was salvation is an even greater concept.

Secondly, that people ask that the saints might sing for joy and God promises that they're going to sing for joy forever.

Thirdly, the people that asked that the ark might be brought up to Jerusalem which it was.

God promises now that he's going to sit in throne there in Jerusalem forever. So that's always the way it works with God he can never sort of expect God we can pray for things and sometimes we pray wrongly, and God doesn't give us what's going to hurt us, but when we pray rightly God not only answers the prayers. The answers them far and above, we could possibly anticipate. We pray for salvation, but which one of us could ever possibly imagine the wonder of the salvation which we receive in Jesus Christ blessings that we have in him. Here in this last section. What these particular blessings are first of all verses 13 and 14.

They talk about the establishment of God's throne in Jerusalem now part of that has to do with the establishment of David's throne and the Jewish state, but when God speaks of establishing Zion as his resting place for ever and ever. As he does in verse 14 is clear that this has to go beyond the endurance of the merely earthly kingdom. It's about the Messiah and his throne talk about forever and forever you're talking about that which only God can fulfill his David was well aware when God announced the promise to him. He said that God this is an something that belongs to a mere man. This has to do with you in the Messiah, who is yet to come.

And of course that's exactly right. Because the throne of David did not.

In fact, historically speaking, endure forever.

At least if you're looking at it on the human level and ended with Jack on my who has also sometimes called the higher cam in the Old Testament when he was carried off to Babylon where he died or over there is even a curse pronounced upon this man for his sin recorded by Jeremiah the 22nd chapter God speaking said that no descendent of this man is going to sit upon the throne of David, a rule anymore in June and they didn't was the last of the kings. All of this man's sons died in exile and the line of David as it would seem ended their but not so.

Jesus Christ, the Messiah is destined to rule and rule forever.

That's why we read in Revelation.

As we come toward the end of the Bible. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. When we read that the people of God say a man. Secondly, we read about God's blessings on the people both physically and spiritually. And that's verses 15 and 16. The two verses of peace given to each of these.

This blessing involves material prosperity, ample provision for the poor, but also salvation for the priests and joy for all the people.

In other words what it's talking about is the future idyllic messianic state is an interesting thing that people have dreamed about this in history. Throughout the centuries of history wise men of dreamed about what has sometimes been called the Golden age.

Plato was one of them.

He wrote about it in his Republic, Virgil the great Latin writer and poet wrote about it in his fourth Decalogue and you come down to more modern times and you have writers like Thomas Moore Edward Bellamy Samuel Butler writing about future idealistic state or even people like Leo Tolstoy.

The writer tried to create one North feeling in terms of movements, the Communists tried to do it in terms of a classless society and we in the west of the capitalistic countries try to picture this in terms of increasing prosperity for everyone. The problem is that this is never been achieved. No states no people, no dreamer is ever achieve this idealistic goal of the Golden age and when we look at the future in the future doesn't seem very promising. Read you a quote by a writer from a few years ago. See if this doesn't describe what we've all experienced this man wrote the rule of man has been characterized by irreconcilable ambitions and conflicts of interest, the brainless of man. The been dedicated to the production of military machines and accouterments for the scattering of death and desolation among the inhabitants of the earth, man is look for peace and found war.

He has talked of brotherhood and love and has seen hatred and persecutions boasted of the civilization, enlightenment and progress in the so-called heathen have upbraided him for his godless practices. He has spent billions of dollars for war millions for pleasure only a few paltry thousands for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This gives no promise of improvement as it was, so it is, so it will be until the King comes back. There is not been the. Since the fall of man, in which the race is enjoyed or witnessed the condition which prophecy declarer shall obtain in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is words aren't harsh closer accurate words describing the history of our times with the striking thing is that they were written in 1938 year I was born things have not gotten better in my lifetime we dream of a golden age. But if there's ever going to be a golden age is going to be the king of glory will bring it in.

And, of course, that's exactly where the soul man's because that's what the last verses talk about verses 17 and 18. They talk about the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of his kingdom. That's what God means when he says that he will cause the horn to grow up for David that is a powerful ruler who will achieve everything that God has promised God says his crown and his alone will be resplendent.

Verse 18 we live in an age when people are looking to the government to solve their problems, but even in a freely elected system like ours with a benign government. The government is never going to solve our problems. The anticipation that the government will do it is actually statism, which is a form of idolatry means were looking to the state as our Savior and the kingdom of God doesn't come that way at a meeting of the national Association of Evangelicals. In 1980 after Pres. Ronald Reagan had given the address of the people and everybody was cheering wildly main address of the evening was to be given by Charles Colson served in government under Nixon.

He stepped to the platform after he had gotten people's attention and they have quieted down and said in a very quiet and solemn voice. You have to remember that the kingdom of God does not arrive on Air Force One, and I was absolutely true, does not, but it does arrive, the coming of the Messiah because it is he to whom we look we who are on this pilgrimage of the Christian life, and that means we have to keep our eyes on him.

The author of Hebrews noted that although we do not yet at present see everything subject to him.

We do nevertheless see Jesus. Hebrews 28 and nine and that's enough because as we look to Jesus, we move on toward that goal. That God has set before us, which is the prize of the high calling of God for listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyd, the most important building in the history of the world was the temple. It involves great detail in its construction.

And God himself gave the blueprint, but what relevance does the Old Testament temple and its contents have in the life of the believer today. The answer may surprise you if you'd like to learn more. We like to offer you a free copy of the CD entitled the ark of the covenant.

It's by author and teacher Philip Rieke. This free CD offer is our gift to you. Give us a call at 1-800-488-1888 we be honored to send you a copy of the ark of the covenant. Again, our phone number is 1-800-488-1888, would you help us share the promises of God's word through the administering of the Bible study our we depend on listeners like you.

You can make a contribution by visiting our you can also call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you. We are grateful for your support. How has the Bible study our impacted your life are you more confident in your personal ministry in this Dr. Boyce is teaching inspired a fresh appreciation for God's word will be sure to tell a friend and then tell us our entire staff will be greatly encouraged by your story when you call or write our email addresses contact at the Bible study our God work by Mark Daniels. I'm glad you listened to.

America has become one vast terrifying community that rather radical statement was made by one observer of modern culture is a true, have we lost the true sense of community that bound us together and has that loss reached its tentacles into the church joint. Dr. James Boyce as he explores the current disunity in the culture of the Christian ideal community and how it can be attained. Its next time one Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically man

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