Today’s Worship Place
It was all downhill from Jerusalem to Kiriath-Jearim. After visiting the Temple Mound, the Holocaust Museum, and the Shrine of the Book on our Truth Encounter Holy Land Tour, we decided to take some of the more adventurous on the 15 km bike trip. To help them understand the significance of our journey, we reread the events of 2 Samuel 6. This is the story of King David’s passion to bring the exiled Ark of the Covenant back to its home in Jerusalem. Psalm 132, the longest of the Songs of Ascent, reminds us of these events.
“Look, we heard it in Ephratha, we found it in the fields of Jaar. Let us come to His dwelling, let us bow in worship at His footstool.” - Psalm 132:6
Ephratha refers to Bethlehem, David’s hometown, and Jaar means “wooded fields.” It’s a reference to where the Ark found a home after returning from Philistine territory until King David finally brought it back up to Jerusalem. The story in 2 Samuel reveals how the Ark brought blessing to the home of Obed-Edom and David’s yearning to build a permanent place for God’s presence to dwell in Israel (Ps. 132:2-5)
David did return the Ark to Jerusalem. Solomon, his son, did build a glorious permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant, and Israelites came and worshipped at God’s footstool. Then Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians came. The Temple was destroyed and the Ark was lost. Where would God’s presence choose to dwell with the Temple and the Ark gone? The post-exilic Jews rebuilt the Temple but the Holy of Holies was empty. Then Jesus, the Son of David, came making an unbelievable claim. His body was God’s Temple, the Holy of Holies. This was a major reason His enemies crucified Him. Now that He has ascended to heaven, where do we go to find the special place where God’s holy presence lives and reveals itself?
LORD, a major theme in Your redemptive story is how You choose to keep walking with us, living with us, and setting up your home with us in spite of our sin. Use me to help many understand that today we don’t have to go to either Kiriath-Jiarim or the Temple Mound to get close to You or to experience Your blessing. Help me get as excited as the Apostle Paul was about Your new choice of address.
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