Living in Exile - 2/10/21
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Psalm 132:6-7 (MSG)
Remember how we got the news in Ephrathah,
learned all about it at Jaar Meadows?
We shouted, “Let’s go to the shrine dedication!
Let’s worship at God’s own footstool!”
In the words of Eugene Peterson
The part of Psalm 132 is the part that roots obedience in fact and keeps our feet on the ground. The psalm takes a single incident out of the past, the history of the Ark of the Covenant, and reminisces over it.
The history of the ark was, for the Hebrews, a kind of theological handbook. It provided an account of the presence of God among the people. Its history showed the importance of having god with you and the danger of trying to use God or carry him around. And so the ark itself was important in that it emphasized that God was with his people and that God was over and above his people. The ark was the symbol, not the reality. When the ark was treated as a talisman, as a curio or as a magical device with which to manipulate God, everything went wrong. God cannot be contained or used. The psalm does not retell this history it only remembers the history. There is only enough here to trigger the historical memories of the people.
Biblical history is a good memory for what doesn't work. It is also a good memory for what does work. A Christian with a defective memory has to start everything from scratch and spends far too much of his or her time backtracking, repairing, starting over. A Christian with a good memory avoids repeating old sins knows the easiest way through complex situations and instead of starting over each day continues what was begun in Adam. Psalm 132 activates faith’s memory so that obedience will be sane.
Father God, help us to realize that you long to dwell richly in us and with us - always. There is nothing that we can do, make or deny that will take away your longing for connection with us. Remind us that we have willingly accepted and acknowledged you as Lord of our life. Just as you are preparing a place for us, let us prepare a place for you in our life. Let us remember. Let us be obedient. Amen.
Keep the Faith ~ Pastor Art