His Place of Celebration
Verse 13 For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His dwelling, saying,
During our study of this psalm we have talked about David’s desire to build God a permanent dwelling. Now, having discussed the covenant of God with David and his descendants, the psalmist shows that David wasn’t just going out on his own to make this decision.
God had chosen the location of Jerusalem long before David was born. This place was not randomly picked. It had a central location in the Promised Land allowing for the people to travel there for the three festivals that He had commanded them to gather for. It was important for the people to come together and remember that though 12 tribes, they were one people.
God’s people had been brought to this land many years after the promise that it would be theirs. These festivals were set as yearly reminders of God’s faithfulness since making His covenant with Abraham. Generations had passed before David was given the idea of moving God’s dwelling to this location and making a permanent place for God’s people to come and worship Him.
The three festivals were Passover, Pentecost and Festival of Booths (also known as the Festival of Tents or Festival of Shelters). Passover was a celebration to remember the way that God had taken them out of slavery in Egypt. It reminded them of the sacrifice of a perfect lamb for the safety of those in the home. This was a hint of the most notable Passover of all time when the Perfect Lamb of God was sacrificed for the saving of all of God’s people throughout history.
Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks or Festival of First Fruits. This was a celebration of God’s faithfulness in giving a bountiful harvest. As Christians we know this as the festival that brought the Early Church together for a sermon like none other. It was heard in every language represented and brought a harvest of souls into the Church numbering about 3000! Now that is a harvest of first fruits!
The Festival of Booths reminded God’s people of the tents they lived in while wandering in the wilderness. It also served as a reminder of the tents stayed in during the harvest. It brings us back to the reason for this psalm, the dwelling of God being established permanently. He wants most of all to have a permanent residence in our lives. Do we want that too?
Making It Personal
What do these three festivals mean to you? Does going to church feel like a pilgrimage to you or do you feel like you are visiting your Father? How important to God is coming together to worship?
Making It Personal Kids
What holidays help you remember to worship Jesus for what He has done for you? How do you celebrate these holidays? Have you ever used your birthday as a reminder of the things that Jesus has done for you in the last year?
Father, thank You for wanting us to worship You because of the things You have done for us. We celebrate You. Help us see all the ways that You are worth celebrating. In Jesus’ name, amen.