Psalm 132: The Greater Son

Psalm 132 has a very different feel than the rest of the Psalms of Ascent. In fact, this Psalm is explicitly Messianic, speaking of the Davidic promises and line and the Lord’s Anointed. As a Psalm of Ascent then, this song brings the traveling worshippers into focus on the city and king that God has made His own. While many of the other Ascent Psalms encourage the fearful and troubled hearts of the travelers, this psalm instructs them to take their eyes off their own journey and cast them upon the wonderful and great things that await them in the city of God, Zion, and the king who is enthroned there.

The psalm begins by asking God to remember His promises to David, who earnestly desired to build a resting place for God amongst His people. Although David was not allowed by God to build the temple, David was still the one who brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, an act that brought abundant joy to his heart. It was immediately after that event that God made his covenant promises to David that someone from his lineage would always sit on the throne. The throne of the nation of Israel would henceforth be known as the throne of David, promises born out of David’s utter devotion to and joy in the Lord. David earnestly sought that God would be glorified amongst His people. The attitude that David displayed in the past is now one that the psalmist earnestly seeks for the present travelers as they head to Jerusalem to worship. Oh that God’s people would long to worship in the presence of God with such fervor and joy!

Of course, the travel to Jerusalem would be pointless if God was not there, and so in verse 8 the psalmist asks God to meet them there. The desire for the travelers is not merely to come and worship, to perform some outward act of worship, but to meet with God Himself, to be in His very presence. This must always be the driving heart of worship for the people of God. God does not desire mere outward obedience to rules but a heart that delights in His very presence with them.

After a recounting of the Davidic Covenant in verses 11-12, the psalmist then turns attention to the city, to Zion, God’s chosen dwelling place. The psalmist recounts the promises God has made to bless the city, to be a place of worship, rest, and satisfaction. The blessings of God flow forth from His enduring presence therein, and so the destination city of the travelers is that beacon of hope that drives them further on in their journey. The city itself is the place which God enthrones the Messiah as well. “There” will God bring forth that horn of David, the shoot from the stump of Jesse. “There” has God made a place for the Messiah, a place where his glory will shine and his enemies will be conquered.

This psalm points us directly to that greater Son of David, to Christ Himself. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of David who fulfilled all the promises made to David. Jesus is Immanuel, God Himself dwelling amongst His people. Jesus is the one who satisfies the poor with bread from Heaven, as He is the true bread of life. Jesus is the one who is the delight and satisfaction to our souls. Jesus is the one who will forever sit on the throne, conquering His enemies and bringing them into subjection. Jesus is the one who promises that where two or three are gathered in His name, there He is with them. Dear friends, as the ancient Israelites delighted in the thought of traveling to Jerusalem to gather in the presence of God, we have this very same thought, joy, and privilege each and every Sunday when we gather together with the people of God in corporate worship. As we go to bed on Saturday nights and wake up in the morning on Sunday mornings and get in our cars to drive to church, the joy of what we are about to do, or more accurately, Who we are about to meet with, should overflow from within us. There is no greater blessing than to meet with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to be transported into the throne room by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Keith Kauffman attended University of Maryland (B.S.) and Capital Bible Seminary(M.Div.). Keith currently works at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, working in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases studying the immune response to Tuberculosis. Keith serves as an elder at Greenbelt Baptist Church.


Keith Kauffman