Lord, remember David
And all his afflictions;
How he swore to the Lord,
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of 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 into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool.
Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.
— Psalm 132:1-9
After portraying his desperation for God’s house in Psalm 132:1-5, the psalmist continues, “Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar” (v. 6). Here he is referring to the ark of the covenant. The ark was taken by the Philistines in battle, but eventually they returned it to the Israelites (1 Sam. 4-6).
“Jaar” is short for “Kiriath-jearim,” which is the place where the ark of the covenant rested until King David brought it to Jerusalem (1 Sam. 7:1-2; 2 Sam. 6:1-19). This means that there was a time when the ark of the covenant was actually missing from God’s tabernacle. There was a time when the setting was right, but the content, the reality, was missing.
Adapted from The Journey of Life, page 103.