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I Will Not Rest Until I Find a Place for the Lord

Categories: Devotional Thoughts

daily reading plan

May 28, 2020 by Steven Lulich

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.
Psalm 132:3-5

I have a friend who grew up in a powerful Muslim family in the Middle East and came to Christ in college.  We lived just a few doors apart in our small residence hall, and I had a front-row seat for all of the events that led to her conversion, as well as the dramatic aftermath. I don’t recall how it was that she first came to be such good friends with so many Christians – maybe it was just because she was very outgoing, and, frankly, was friends with everyone.  In any event, there came a time when she suddenly needed to come to terms with the competing claims of Islam and Christianity.  It was a very intense time for her, and for those of us who formed her closest circle of friends.  She started asking a lot of questions, reading the Bible, comparing it with the Koran, asking more questions.  She had grabbed hold of something (she didn’t know what) and wasn’t about to let go until she had put the matter to rest.

In this way, my friend was like King David, who, according to the Psalmist, “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” (Ps. 132:2-5).  In its immediate context, David was speaking of the temple, which he wanted to build for God in Jerusalem.  But God “does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:24); rather, “If anyone loves me [Jesus], he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).  At its root, David’s vow is about giving place to Jesus Christ within our hearts.

I will not rest until…  My friend didn’t realize at the time that the end of this sentence for her would be until I find a place for the Lord.  She couldn’t know the outcome ahead of time, she only knew the feeling of urgency, and the need to resolve her inner conflict.  And so she kept at it, just as David vowed to do.  Ironically, God told David “It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in” (1 Chr. 17:4).  In fact, God told David that “the Lord will build you a house” – a complete inversion!

As a matter of fact, it was not simply my friend who had grabbed hold of something (she knew not what), but it was God Himself who had taken hold of her (compare Paul’s comments in Philippians 3:8-12, especially v. 12).  We, her close Christian friends, saw where her seeking was leading, and we hoped and prayed.  My friend’s experience was like the Psalmist’s (with minor edits): “Behold, we heard of [Jesus Christ] in [our homeland], we found [Him] in the fields of [college]. Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” (Ps. 132:6-7).  Our experience as her friends was similar: “Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.  Let [our friend] be clothed with righteousness, and let [us] shout for joy!” (Ps. 132:8-9).  We were not disappointed, and this friend has been a beloved sister in Christ for 20 years now!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar state of urgency?  Maybe that was the day when you yourself came to Christ.  Or maybe you decided you were too busy to deal with it at that time.  Let that time be now!  Or, perhaps you are the friend of someone who is experiencing this urgency.  Enter into that urgency with them!  Whether for yourself or for your friend, vow with David, “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.” And remember this hope:  “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).