Thursday, November 17, 2022

Our King and Priest (Psalm 132)

"For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place" (Ps. 132:13).

Psalm 132 shows the inseparable relation between the kingdom of David and the sanctuary of God. God decreed nothing in relation to the kingdom but that which had a certain and established connection with the sanctuary. This relation in Old Testament Israel anticipated the Mediator, Christ Jesus. He came not only as Priest, but also as King. “The true strength and stability of that kingdom were in Christ, and Christ’s kingdom is inseparable from His priesthood,” Calvin wrote.

God promised to give David an everlasting kingdom and to establish His dwelling place among His people as represented in the ark of the covenant. This relationship aptly and more perfectly prefigured the Mediator who was to come—a Mediator who would be both Priest and King after the order of Melchizedek.

This psalm looks forward to Christ being established on David’s throne, when He will rule over an eternal kingdom and find His rest among His people. In the Old Testament the kingdom and sanctuary were localized in Israel. The kingdom of God now resides throughout the world, wherever Christ dwells in the hearts of true believers. Just as the old covenant priests offered sacrifices in the sanctuary and interceded for the people, so also Christ died and intercedes for those who live in His kingdom and submit to His rule.

Psalm 132 also says that God chose Zion to be His place of habitation. God established the kingdom of David and erected His sanctuary because of His own purposes and goodness, not because of any merit on David’s part. God could have chosen the Egyptians or the Assyrians, but instead He chose Israel to be His dwelling place. Likewise, those who enter the kingdom of Christ through His priestly work come not by their own merit and will but only by the choice of a sovereign and wise God. Those whom God has chosen He will never leave because He has promised to dwell among His people forever: “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy” (vv. 14–16). Such are the steadfast promises to those who live in the kingdom of Christ.

How should a right understanding of the kingship and priestly work of Christ affect your spiritual growth? Read Hebrews 10:19–39. What does this passage have to say about the impact of Christ’s priestly work on your life? Now read Matthew 5:1–12; 6:25–34 and list ways you should live as one in the kingdom of Christ.