Here I Dwell
(13) For Yahweh has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his dwelling place. (14) “This (is) my resting place forever. Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. (15) I will bless her with abundant provisions. I will satisfy her poor with food. (16) Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her godly inhabitants will shout for joy. (17) There I will cause a horn to grow for David. I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one. (18) His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him his crown will shine.”
Three important repetitions mark this closing segment of the psalm: “dwelling place/resting place” (vss. 13 & 14), “desire” (vss. 13 & 14), and “clothe” (vss. 16 & 18). The first “clothe” describes Israel’s priests beautifully attired with salvation so that they might lead Israel’s worshipers to rejoice in Yahweh (vs. 16). In contrast, the second use of “clothe” describes Israel’s enemies shamed in defeat (vs. 18).
In the opening verse the psalmist announces that Yahweh has chosen Zion as his dwelling place on earth (vs. 13). In an extended quotation, Yahweh explains that this choice will involve abundant blessings for both the nation and her king (vss. 14-18). Synonymous parallelism shows that the metaphor, “horn,” refers to the strength of “my anointed one,” God’s coming Messiah (vs. 17).
I. Yahweh has choosen Zion as his dwelling place forever. (13 & 14)
II. Yahweh will lavish his blessings on Zion and the nation. (15-18)
Because he has chosen Zion as his earthly dwelling place, Yahweh will bless the city and her ruler abundantly.
The phrase, “if only,” comes to mind as we read this segment in light of other Old Testament passages.
- If only the twelve spies had demonstrated faith instead of fear at Kadesh Barnea when they returned to report on their mission to reconnoiter the Promised Land, God would have blessed abundantly and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness would have been averted.
- If only the kings of Israel had obeyed Yahweh instead of leading the nation into rebellion and idolatry, the two periods of exile, first in Assyria and then in Babylon, would not have been necessary.
- If only Israel had not rejected the first coming of Messiah, their centuries-long dispersion among the nations that continues to the present day would not have occurred.
In all these situations, God accomplished his purposes in spite of Israel’s sin by withholding his blessings and chastening the rebellious nation. The Scriptures promise that a day of great blessing remains the destiny of God’s covenant people. As Paul wrote: “But if [Israel’s] transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring” (Rom. 11:12). Neither God’s choice of Zion nor his commitment to bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have ever been rescinded. The blessings prophesied in this last segment of Psalm 132 have not yet been fulfilled. When Messiah, the Son of David, comes to rule over the earth, God will at last pour out his blessings on his chosen people in Zion, the place which he called “my resting place forever” (vs.14). What a glorious day it will be when Yahweh reigns personally over the earth from his capital city on earth, the future Jerusalem fully restored!