Trusting the Promises of God - Psalm 132
We can often be tempted to doubt God because our perspectives are too limited. If we only look at our own lives or the lives of those closest to us, we may be tempted to wonder if God will be faithful – if God will keep His promises. But when we turn the Scriptures, we have centuries and centuries of proof – God is always faithful to His word.
In 2 Samuel 7 we read some of the most incredible promises that God ever made. God promised David that from His line would come a king who would sit on an eternal throne in an eternal kingdom. However, within a few generations the people of God began to wonder if God would be faithful to David. As kings failed and the nation faltered many wondered if God would keep His promises.
Psalm 132 is a psalm that recalls the faithfulness of God. In the first half of the psalm, we hear the people of God asking God to remember His servant David. In the second half of the psalm, we get the assurance that God will in fact fulfill all that He has promised.
A Request for God to Remember (David’s Promise to God) (132:1-10)
- A plea for remembrance (v. 1) – In the years following the reign of David the people began to doubt God’s faithfulness. The psalm begins with a plea for God to remember His servant and fulfill His promises.
- Recalling the promise (vv. 2-5) – In 2 Samuel 7 we read that David swore an oath that he would build a house for God. While God told him that he would not be the one to build it, David did all that was necessary to ensure his son Solomon would be able to build the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:14, 5).
- Recalling the keeping of the promise (vv. 6-9) – The Ark of the Covenant was the symbol of the presence of God for the people of Israel and David saw to it that the Ark was brought to Jerusalem. In verses 6-9 we have a remembrance of how the people responded as the Ark of the Covenant came to the city.
- The request repeated – remember David (v. 10) – Verse 10 reiterates the plea of verse 1. The people are calling on God to remember His promises and fulfill His word to His servant David.
- Application – In the first half of the psalm the people are wondering if God is going to be faithful. In the same way we can be tempted to wonder if God is going to keep His promises. We may pray, like the psalmist did, God, remember your servant.
A Reminder of God’s Faithfulness (God’s Promise to David) (132:11-18)
- Greater answers – While the first half of the psalm is made up of requests for God to keep His promises, the second half of the psalm assures us that God will keep His promises. For each of the requests of the first half, there is a paralleled assurance – but the assurances are even greater in nature than the requests called for.
- A promise for David’s line (vv. 11-12) – In 2 Samuel 7 God makes His promises to David. In vv. 11-12 of the psalm these promises are reiterated along with the assurance that God will in fact keep His word. We know that these promises are fulfilled through the work of Jesus (Luke 1:32–33).
- A promise for Zion (vv. 13-14) – In addition to His promises to David, God had made promises regarding Zion (Jerusalem). He had chosen Zion as the place where He would dwell. The New Testament teaches us that Zion foreshadows the eternal city of God and even now God is ruling from His eternal throne (Hebrews 12:22–24).
- A promise for the people of Zion (vv. 15-16) – The promises for Zion extended to the people of God. God has promised to provide for His people physically and spiritually, now and forever.
- A promise of a future, victorious king (vv. 17-18) – While the psalm is full of allusions to Jesus, the final two verses leave no doubt – Jesus is the One through whom all the promises of God will be fulfilled. He is the coming King who will put to shame all of the enemies of God (Luke 1:68–69, 78-79).
- Application – While the people wondered if God would be faithful, the psalm gives the assurance that God will do all that He has said. In the same way we should know that God continues to be faithful and we can trust that He will be true to His word in every way.
Final Thought – Our perspectives are limited, but when we read the Scriptures, we have the benefit of seeing how God has been faithful throughout the generations. The first coming of Christ is the greatest proof that God is working out His plan and that we can trust all of His words and promises, now and forever.