Sermon – King David’s dance track (Psalms 132:1 – 132:18) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Psalms: Songs of Ascent

This series takes us through the last few Psalms in the Bible, called the ‘Songs of Ascent’. They focus on the Psalmist crying out to the Lord in their distress, and also worshipping Him as they are helped & delivered by God.

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Sermon 6 of 14

King David’s dance track

Ben Read, Psalms 132:1 - 132:18, 14 May 2023

Ben continues our series in the Songs of Ascent (last few Psalms in the Bible), preaching from Psalm 132:1-18. In this passage we see the Psalmists’ reflections on the journey God’s people had been on, the reason for King David’s rejoicing, and what it all means for us today.

Psalms 132:1 - 132:18

132:1   Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor,
    all the hardships he endured,
  how he swore to the LORD
    and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
  “I will not enter my house
    or get into my bed,
  I will not give sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
  until I find a place for the LORD,
    a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
  Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
    we found it in the fields of Jaar.
  “Let us go to his dwelling place;
    let us worship at his footstool!”
  Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.
  Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
    and let your saints shout for joy.
10   For the sake of your servant David,
    do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
11   The LORD swore to David a sure oath
    from which he will not turn back:
  “One of the sons of your body
    I will set on your throne.
12   If your sons keep my covenant
    and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
  their sons also forever
    shall sit on your throne.”
13   For the LORD 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 abundantly bless her provisions;
    I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16   Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
    and her saints will shout for joy.
17   There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
    I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18   His enemies I will clothe with shame,
    but on him his crown will shine.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Psalm 1 3 2. Lord remembered David and all his self denial. He swore an oath to the lord. He made a vow to the mighty 1 of Jacob.

I will not enter my house or go to my bed. I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids till I find a place for the Lord, or dwelling for the mighty 1 of Jake We heard it in Ephratha. We came upon it in the fields of Jal. Let us go to his dwelling place. Let us worship at his footstool saying, arise, Lord, come to your resting place.

You and the ark of your might. May your priests be clothed with your righteousness, may your faithful people sing for joy? For the sake of your serve and David, do not reject your anointed 1. The lords were an oath to David, a sure oath who would not revoke. 1 of your own descendants I will place on your throne.

If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their son shall sit on your throne forever and ever. For the Lord has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his dwelling, saying, this is my resting place forever and ever. Here I will sit and thrand for I have desired it. I will bless her with abundant provisions.

Her poor, I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priest with salvation. And her faithful people shall ever sing for joy. Here, I will make a whole grove for David and set up a lamp for my anointed 1. I will clothe his enemies with Shane, but his head shall be adorned with a radiant crown.

This is the word of Lord. Well, good evening from me. My name is Ben. I'm 1 of the pastors here at the church, if you don't know me. This is a great passage.

It's been very sweet to me this week as I've spent time in it. Let's pray for the Lord's help that he would speak to us and minister to us through it. Father, we thank you so much that you have spoken in in time and in history. In many different ways in these last days through your son. Thank you for the scripture that we have in front of us now.

And we pray that you would speak to us again, that you would speak to our hearts, you'd give us hearts that are ready to hear. You would help us to respond with joy. For what you've done, who you are, and for the lord Jesus Christ. We pray in his name, amen. Our men.

Ahmen, I don't know if you have certain songs that you like to put on in the car for particular journeys. There's a particular journey, Kerry and I I make down the a 3, which is a lovely road, the a 3. It's 1 of the good ones, isn't it? On down the a 3, heading towards my parents house, we stick on this song by a band called The Decemberists called Don't carry at all. And it's a song about the turning of the season.

And and we we sing it, and we belt it out as we drive down the a 3 because The a 3 is 1 of the first places, especially when you live in concrete jungle like we do. Actually, it's not too bad in Kingston. But it's what it's 1 of the first places you can really see the seasons turning. Because there's loads of trees. Once you get past Gilford in the hind head tunnel, it's just gorgeous, the a 3.

It's a lovely drive. And there are trees like canopies, just all the way down, all the way to my parents' house. And in the autumn, they're sort of golden amber the trees. In the winter, they're bare and white. In the spring, they they blossom, and they start to bud.

And then in the summer, they're just in full blue. And so we crank this song up, and we sing it. And as we sing it, we sort of remember the other times that we've driven down that road. So we enjoy the memory of this trip with that song. We associate the 2 together.

We retrace the road, and we retrace our memories with that song. Well, that is a lot like what is going on here in Psalm hundred and 32. Because we we're in the song of ascents, the songs of ascent at the moment. These are songs that pilgrims would sing on their way to Jerusalem for the many festivals every year. And this Psalm is is on the CD album that they would play for that journey.

So they're going to Jerusalem, they get that CD out of the cupboard, they dust it off, they open their Spotify playlist, they connect their Bluetooth up, and and this is 1 of the songs that they sing. And as they're retracing the steps up this hill, because Jerusalem's on a hill. As they're as they're walking up and retracing the steps up the hill, they get to this song, and it reminds them over time that their ancestors walked up this hill, the exact same hill, specifically when King David walked up this hill. And just as he went up the hill with great joy, which we're gonna look at tonight, so the pilgrims remember this great joy that he had, as they take steps, up the very same steps he took. They remember his joy and they get caught up in his joy.

As they walk up the same hill. I mean, songs have got an amazing way of taking you back somewhere, haven't they? You just have to hear the first note of a song sometimes, and you're whoa. You're back to a memory, and you can smell food, or you can smell a scent, or you can hear things, or you memories of laughter, but songs are amazingly powerful, aren't they? But songs can also prepare you for something.

So why do we sing in church services? Why do we sing particularly before the preaching of the word? Partly, it's it's to help prepare us, isn't it? To hear the preaching of God's word. You know, We come in through the door.

Many of us aren't quite ready to hear from the Lord. We've had a day. We're not feeling particularly joyful. And then we hear our brothers and sisters singing these incredible words, and we sing these incredible words. And as we sing truth and we declare and we remember who God is, then we're almost brought back to our senses, aren't we?

We're like the lost son in in in in the pigsty, and we go, oh, yes. That's the truth. Thank you. And then we're ready to hear from the word of the lord. Carrie and I have got a Spotify playlist called Fernando Psych me up.

Fernando's the name of our car. When we're driving somewhere and we're feeling quite low and like if we're heading towards Seoul and we need energy for Seoul, Well, it's Friday. It's been a long week. I haven't got much left in the tank. Fernando psych me up.

It's got like absolute ballads and angers on there. We turn it up and we're we're singing it out. What does the fox say? That's what we're singing as we come to Seoul on a Friday night. And then we get here, and we're like, pumped up, and we're ready to go.

So songs sort of prepare us as well for things, and and that is what this psalm, this song is doing. It's reminding the pilgrims of David's joy in the past, and it's preparing them to arrive in Jerusalem and to meet with the Lord. That's what this song is doing. And those are the 2 things that we're gonna look at tonight First of all, the memory of David's joy, and then secondly, how it prepares us to meet with the lord. So first of all, David's joy, have a look at verse verse 1.

Lord, remember David and all his self denial. He swore an oath to the lord. He made a vow to the mighty 1 of Jacob, I will not enter my house or go to my bed. I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids till I find a place for the lord. A dwelling for the mighty 1 of Jacob.

Now this doesn't start with joy. Before there was joy, there was self denial. Actually, the word is affliction. But we need to remember the affliction in order to remember the joy. When I'm telling my great grandchildren about the great COVID lockdown of 20 20, They're not gonna understand the joy of being in a stranger's house until they've understood the quarantine that we were in, that we couldn't leave our own houses.

So that's where this starts. It starts with this affliction. Lord, remember David's affliction, his self denial. So what was his affliction? What was his self denial?

It was this. It was that God was not dwelling with his people. God was not dwelling with his people. That was the affliction. So years before David, God had dwelled in the middle of his people, literally in the middle of his people, in the tabernacle.

So the Israelite Camp was made up of thousands of tents, and each tribe would be set, sort of designated area, you know, when you arrive at like a camping a camping site and you have an an allotted space, all the tribes of Israel had their allotted spaces, and they would line up north east, south, and west of the tabernacle, which is a slap bang in the middle. And at the center of the tabernacle, was the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant. It was a wooden box, and it was made to be the same dimensions, interestingly, as a king's foot stall. The kings in those times would have a foot stall.

They'd put their feet up when they were ruling, raining, judging. And God says heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. And this footstool was the place that got assigned, that he would meet with Moses. It was the place where God said he would give Moses his life giving commands. It was the place where the sins of the people were atoned for, as they sprinkled blood onto it, and they and their sins were washed away through sacrifice.

So the ark is really important. It's the symbol of God's presence with his people. If you know about the arc as well, you'll know that it was it was the first thing that crossed over the river Jordan when God's people came into the promised land. In fact, the priests were carrying it to the river. And as soon as the priests' feet touched the the bank of the the water, there was a great flood upstream.

And then the water trickled dry so they could cross over. And it was the arc that went forward. First, to sort of symbolize God is leading his people. Or if you know the story of Jerico as well, it was the arc that was marched around that then resulted in victory. So the ark was the symbol of God's presence with his people, but God had also warned his people.

If you reject me, If you turn to other gods and idols, if you forsake me and break my laws, I'm gonna withdraw all of that good stuff. My presence will be taken away from you. The blessings of the land will be taken from you. The fruit and the rest and the peace will all be taken from you. And eventually, that's what happens.

If you know the Bible, not a surprise. God's people constantly doing this. Eventually, the Philistines defeat Israel in battle and the ark of the covenant, the place that symbolizes God's presence with his people was taken into captivity. It was captured and taken off. Now there are some funny stories about what happens to the arc in captivity, involving massive statues bowing down in front of it and things like that.

But when Eli, who was the priest at the time, heard that the arc had been captured. Before he hears about the arc being captured, he's told his 2 sons have died. Okay? Your 2 sons have died in battle, and he's an old man. He can't really take a lot.

He's told his 2 sons to die in battle. He's like, But then he's told that the arc of the covenant has been captured. He falls off his chair backwards and he dies. Because the ark symbolized the presence of God with his people. The ark has gone.

God has departed from his people. That's the affliction of David. That's what's going on. When the pilgrims are remembering and singing this song. Because you see David knows that God is the life giver.

He knows that without God, Without the arc of the covenant and God's presence, there's no life. I mean, imagine being cut off from your water supply at home. And turn the tap on, nothing comes out. You go to the fridge. It's a bit of manky milk.

So you're down that, but you're still not satisfied. So you go to the supermarket, but the shelves have been cleared because everyone else's taps have dried up. You're thirsty, then you start to feel the friction, don't you? Because your life source has been cut off from you. But now imagine that there's no food as well.

People have panic bought, and all the food's gone as well. So you go home and you eat your last slice of toast, but then you're hungry. So there's no water, there's no food. You start to shrivel up and decay. Now imagine that your source of warmth and safety is removed.

Your house crumbles to dust, and you're stood there, thirsty, part hungry starving with no house, and then your enemies start to come in towards you. That's how David felt without God. That's how we should feel without the life giver. And so what does David do under this affliction? Look at verse 2.

He swore an oath to the lord. He made a vow to the mighty 1 of Jacob I will not enter my house or go to my bed. I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids till I find a place for the lord, a dwelling. For the mighty 1 of Jacob. This is his self denial.

There is nothing more important according to David. Then god dwelling with his people again. Everything else can wait. Sleep, I like a bit of sleep, but it can wait. Slumber.

Slumber's nice, but it can wait. Going home even No. That can wait. We won't even go home. In fact, some older bible translations use the word tabernacle instead of house, so it reads like this.

It says, I will not enter my tabernacle until I find a tabernacle for the lord. That's the affliction. And so David takes 30000 men, and he goes out looking for the ark of the covenant. And listen to the Israelites recount as they recount this part of the story in the song. So look at verse 6.

This is when they get to this part, the looking part in the song. We heard it in it frother. We heard it. That was the last known location of the arc, it was taken into captivity. We heard it in the frath.

We heard that it was there. But it was only whispers that it was there. It was only sort of old memories And so we went to track it down. We went there. But when we got there, it was gone.

Only the echo of it remained. Only the footprints in the sand from decades earlier. And so we searched on. We will not sleep. We will not go home.

We will not slumber until we find it. We looked high. We looked low. And then finally, second half of verse 6. We came upon it in the fields ofjar.

We came upon it in the fields ofjar, the long search was over They finally found the missing arc of the lord. They found his foot stall. The place where he appears and meets with his people. The place where their sins are taken away and dealt with, the place where they're made righteous, the place where they connect with the life giver, And as they're bringing it back up the hill towards Jerusalem, as they're climbing up the hill up these steps, David is dancing with all his might before the arc. He's dancing.

And there are people looking on thinking he's undignified. What is he doing? He's meant to be the king. Why is he dancing, kind of like and bits of clothes are falling off him? What is he doing?

It's ridiculous. But that is the joy of David. He was so joyful that God could dwell among the people again, that he sang and he danced with all his might as it went up the hill towards Jerusalem. Now here's a question. Is God really confined to just a wooden box?

Is that why why why is God only coming back now because this box is coming back? Well, God is not confined to a wooden box. God appears in many different ways in the old testament. So what this was all about is a hunt for god. It wasn't a hunt for just the box.

There was something behind that, a desire behind it It was Lord, we want you again. We've rejected you in the past, but now we want you back. And so the hunt was the hunt for God, the looking for God, the hunger that David had. That he was not gonna sleep, he was not gonna slumber, he was not gonna go home. That hunger wasn't just for the box, it was for God.

And this box was the symbol of God's presence with his people. Actually, it says that as David was dancing before the ark, it says David danced before the lord. With all his might. That's who David's dancing for. That's why David is so excited.

And then just listen to the to the joy of the song in this psalm, as they remember this part of David going up the hill. Look at verse 7. Let us go to his dwelling place. We can go to his dwelling place now. It's back.

We can go. Let us go. Let us worship at his foot stall, saying arise, Lord, come to your resting place. You in the arc of your might, may your priests be clothed with your righteousness, may your faithful people sing for joy. For joy.

This is the song that the pilgrims had put on, the CD. They're like, come on. Can we skip track hundred and 31. No, we can't skip track 131. Oh, but I want to get to 132.

No, we must sing, we must listen to all of them. Okay. We won't skip it, but fine. And then, what were they doing? Were they dancing?

I I kinda would hope that they would as they sang this song, and they remembered David dancing before the arc, maybe the little kids were dancing up. It's a nice thought, isn't it? And so this is a question I've been thinking this week. As we hear this song now, are we joyful about the resting place of God in our lives? Are we joyful?

Because we don't have the arc anymore. The arc's actually been lost to history. You know, the raiders of the lost film. Think that's all about trying to find the arc again. Although David already did it a few thousand years earlier, better because he actually found it.

But the but the arc has been lost to history. It doesn't matter. We have we have something better now. God has given us something better. He's given us Jesus.

Jesus is a manual, which means God with us, he tabernacled among us in human flesh, and he has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers, as God dwelled in the tabernacle. The Bible says we are like living stones being built together into a spiritual house for God. And so look, we the good news is we don't have to worship at a particular place anymore. We don't have to go to Jerusalem. We don't have to climb up a a hill to go and meet with God.

Jesus says we worship in spirit and in truth. Why? Because Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. Now I was thinking If David danced with all his might before the ark, what on earth would he make of the gospel of Jesus Christ? What would he do then if we told him David, you might wanna sit down for this?

God is no longer appearing above the ark. No. No. No. Don't worry.

He's in you. You have become a living temple for God. Really fall off this chair and die. Hopefully not. So are we joyful about the resting place of God in our lives, are we joyful about it?

Yeah. Because remember, joy starts with remembering the the affliction, doesn't it? Do we do we feel the affliction of our sin? I mean, sometimes we feel it more than others. Maybe maybe you're feeling it quite strongly today.

Do you remember the affliction? Do you feel the affliction of your sin? I don't know how long you've been a Christian, but do you remember the sort of wilderness of your life before God? Before you were connected to the life giver. Do you remember what it was like to have no living water, to have no bread from heaven?

To have no light from the Lord, to have no word of God in your life. Do you remember what that was like? And then do you remember the joy of finding Jesus? Do you remember the joy of finding Jesus as 1 finds a pearl in a field? Jesus told this parable.

He said the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had. All he had and bought that field. That's the joy of our sins being washed away. When you found out about Jesus, that's that's sin.

Even that sin can be washed away, or the or the hearing of the wonderful word of God, or the life giving spirit who dwells in us and the gracious blessings that God gives us. Do you remember that joy? Because the world doesn't like the idea of self denial anymore, it likes self fulfillment. That's a much trendier word. Self denial is an old fashioned idea.

And Maybe you're more concerned with sleep and slumber and about building your own tabernacles. Then you are that concerned where God dwells. God couldn't live somewhere else. Or maybe. Yeah.

Yeah. I'll get to the god stuff. I will deal with that part of my heart. Lord, I'll let you have my whole heart, but not just yet. You can sort of live in the annex, but I'm not quite ready to give up my master bedroom just yet.

Later in the bible, God says to his people, is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin? Let's tune into this song. Let's hear the the pilgrims singing it. And and may God give us hearts like David, that desire above all else, for God to dwell among us. That's a good prayer, isn't it?

Lord, would you give us that same affection for your dwelling place that David had? He wouldn't sleep. He wouldn't go home until he had found a place for you. So that's the first thing I wanted to look at. The joy of David.

Yeah? See him? He's he's walking up the hill. He's dancing in front of the ark because it's being restored. The presence of God is back among the people.

The second thing, is prepare to meet the lord prepare to meet the lord because now he's back. So these pilgrims are going up the hill. And God's there. Whoa. Hang on a minute.

I was so excited that he's back. I hadn't thought about what I'm like, and I'm about to meet him. So On what basis can we meet the lord? It's interesting. The ark brought judgment against the Philistines wherever it went.

I said earlier, that big stone statues fell down and sort of in front of the ark to symbolize that the whole world worships the the 1 true god. But even the people of God weren't immune from God's judgment for mishandling it. So some people looked into it irreverently, and they died. 1 person touched it, irreverently, and they died. And so, you know, why is David so excited that this thing is back?

Why does he think he can approach God with joy if God is still sovereign and a judge. What's David's basis for being joyful about going to God? What's our basis today? About approaching God with confidence. Well, this this Psalm is really beautiful in lots of ways.

1 of the ways it's beautiful is it's like a mirror. So the first half describes kind of humanity's side of meeting god. So we had David's Hunt to find the ark. We had the call to come and worship God together. And then we had asking the lord.

Lord, come to your dwelling place. That's sort of human side of things. But the second half of this song shows us the same event, but from God's perspective. Here we see what's really going on. So look at it, verse 11.

The Lord swore an oath to David, A sure oath, he will not revoke. 1 of your own descendants, I will place on your throne. If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne forever and ever for the Lord, has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his dwelling, saying this is my resting place forever and ever. Here I will sit enthroned.

For I have desired it, I will bless her with abundant provisions, her poor. I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation. And her faithful people will ever sing for joy. You see, David swore an oath to God to find the ark.

But God is the 1 who swears an oath to David that he will dwell among the people. David thinks he's doing this. Yeah. No. God is the 1 who's doing this.

And though David was afflicted about being cut off from God and he went in search of the ark, it was God who was more afflicted. That he was cut off from his people, and he went in search of David. So God caused the Philicines to give the ark up. After a hilarious and tragic sequence of events where judgment comes upon the Philistines. They give it up.

They don't want it anymore. They send it back. They put it on some cattle and say, go. And then it and it walks off, they're so afraid they won't even carry it. God caused the Philistines to give the ark up.

God chose David to be king. God orchestrates the finding of the ark. Now why is he doing all of this? Well, verse 13, for the lord has chosen Zion. That's another word for God's people.

The city of God where his people are. He has desired it for his dwelling, saying this is my resting place forever and ever. Here I will sit in throne for I have desired it. You ever wondered what the desire of God is? Here is the desire of God to sit enthroned among his people.

You, I mean, and dwell with us. That is the overriding desire of God. Now why on earth would you wanna do that? Why would God wanna do that? He mustn't know us very well.

It's not true. He knows us inside out. And yet he still wants to dwell with us. Jesus who knew his disciples, and he knew all their foolishness, he knew all their sin, He knew what they were like, he knew our Peter, shut up, mate, and he knew John, and he knew he knew them all. And this he he still said this about them.

He said, you did not choose me, I chose you. And so Jesus, who's the good shepherd, he goes to the greatest lengths to find you. David went to the greatest lengths he could to find the ark, but here's God, not just searching on the earth, but leaving heaven In Jesus Christ, coming down, humbling himself, going to the greatest lengths of all, dying, experiencing the wrath of God because he was so afflicted that he did not dwell in your heart through faith. He desires you for his dwelling place. Isn't that amazing?

Here I will sit enthroned in the castle of your heart for I have desired it. Do you ever sing that song? There's a flag flying high in the castle of my heart? Yeah. What a great song that is.

We're not gonna finish with it today. That'd be good, don't it? There's a flag flying high in the castle of my heart. Why? For the king is in residence there.

That's the desire of God. That's what God wants. He desires to dwell with you. And so what basis do we have to go up the hill to the Lord again? If God is a judge, if if he judges even his own people who irreverently approach him, How can we go anywhere near God?

How can we prepare ourselves to meet with God? Well, the answer is God makes us ready. God gives us everything we need to be made ready to meet with him. He will make you into a suitable dwelling place for the mighty 1 of Jacob. Look at verse 15.

I will bless her with abundant provisions. Her poor, I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. God himself is gonna clothe you. You know, in the Garden of Eden, he closed Adam and Eve in in in the Garden by the blood of an animal.

He closed us today by the blood of his son Jesus. This Jesus, who was the only 1, by the way, to keep covenant and the statutes of God, as described in this song. He's the true son of David. He's the 1 who on the throne forever and ever that we've sang. He's he's worthy.

He's the 1 who's talked about in verses 17 and 18. Have a look at that. Here, I will make a horn grow for David. Horn means power. So here's there's gonna be a mighty 1 who springs up and set a lamp for my anointed 1.

Jesus is the light of the world, whose light doesn't go out. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown. A radiant there means flourishing. It's interesting. There's the picture in my mind of the crown of thorns.

And then here, it uses the word of, like, growing and budding blossoming and flourishing. That's the cross of the lord Jesus. It's not a cross of not a not a crown, sorry, of thorns and death. It's a crown of life. Everlasting life that only flourishes more and more and more.

And it's his blood, that clothes you. Because of his death on the cross for your sin. So finally, are you ready to meet the lord? The ARC Back, and we have better than the Ark. We have Jesus.

Are you ready to meet him? Because in 1 sense, whether you believe in God or not, we're all headed up this hill. We're all heading towards judgment day. Where we will all appear before God. So, you know, I wanted you just to think, take a moment now, consider what are you wearing before the king.

Are you ready to meet with him? Are you clothed in shame? Do you sort of carry shame on your back that you're always aware of for things that you've done in life even a long time ago. Do you feel a bit stained and dirty. I mean, we all do, really.

But Jesus desires, this is his desire, that that he takes your shame on himself so that you can be forgiven and cleansed and clothed with his righteous and salvation. He want his desires that you are clothed with salvation, not shame. And so will you come to him again? If you feel shame, will you come back to Jesus? Will you come back to him and ask for forgiveness?

Will you thank him tonight for his love for you? That he desired. He was afflicted, that you weren't with him, that he desired that he dwelled in your hearts. Will you thank him for that? Will he thank him that he chose you and he desires to be with you?

Thank will he thank him that he was afflicted by your sin and your separation? So much that he denied himself on the cross and bore the wrath of God to bring you back. I mean, David's self denial was nothing in comparison to the self denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's interesting. I'll leave you with this final thought.

It's interesting, after David Sims by sleeping with Bashhiba, if you know that that story. He she was the wife of Eurya, so David commits adultery with her. After committing adultery and being sort of confronted about this, he prays this, and this is in Psalm 51. He prays this line. He says, restore to me the joy of your salvation.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation. He's not saying Lord save me again because in Christ, you are saved once for all. Never again, does the sacrifice have to be made for your sins? If you've trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are saved. You have salvation.

But it's interesting. Our joy does ebb and flow, isn't it? There are days where we feel the joy of our salvation way more than other days. Don't know how you felt coming in tonight. Did you feel joyful about your salvation?

Restore to me. The joy of your salvation. Sometimes we have to retrace the steps of affliction to remember the dance of joy. And so maybe that's your prayer as we finish. Lord restored to me the joy of your salvation.

I know I'm saved. I've put my trust in Christ, but I don't feel it. Would you restore this joy to me? Well, we've got a great example in these pilgrims. Whereas they walked up the hill, as they were going to meet with the lord, they would sing this song.

And they remembered the affliction, the Lord is not with us. They remembered the joy God is with us, and they remembered the desire that God has for them to dwell with them. And that's a great thing. Let's pray, shall we? Father in heaven.

Just as the pilgrims walking up the hill towards Jerusalem would have been carrying all sorts of difficulties and problems and issues in their lives with them as they went. So to today, we're a group of people who are meeting here together with all sorts of difficulties and issues and problems going on. And Lord, though we know in our minds, we're saved and we've And we've trusted your word that says if we believe in Christ, we will be saved. Sometimes we lack joy. Sometimes we need you to remind us of the joy.

We need to see David go dancing in front of the ark in get caught up with his joy again. And I thank you, Lord, that in your word, you remind us again and again and again about this joy. Father, I pray that you would lift our hearts now, you would give us joy again in your salvation. That we would know that we can approach you because you desire to dwell with us. Thank you that Jesus denied himself, died on a cross for our sins.

Thank you that he came and searched for us, from 1 end of the universe to the other. In order that we might dwell with you. Father, thank you for these things. Apply them to our hearts, warm our hearts with the gospel. I pray.

Give us joy, restore the joy of our salvation to us in Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

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