“Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the Lord” (Psalm 132:3-5)
Our thought for today is taken from one of the fifteen psalms which are titled, “Songs of degrees.” There is disagreement over the exact reason for these psalms being given this title. Some say it was because of fifteen steps that ascended to the Temple, and these psalms were sung in accordance with those steps. Others have said that these fifteen psalms were set in order by Hezekiah to commemorate the adding of fifteen years to his life, the sign to affirm God’s promise being the returning of the shadow on the sundial ten degrees. Nevertheless, these psalms are known as the Songs of Degrees.
The psalm from which our thought is taken is attributed to Hezekiah. In this psalm, Hezekiah recalls to mind the spirit of David, his forefather (v. 1), whose heart’s desire was to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem (v. 3-5). In this psalm, there is a truth which we can apply to our own hearts and lives, the caution not to leave Christ out of our lives. Sometimes, like Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:41-45), we get caught up in the busyness of life, and tragically Christ is left behind. So how do we avoid this happening to us?
First, there must be A Determined Plan—“I will not…until I find a place for the Lord.” we must recognize the priority of having a place for God in our life. If it is not important, we will not have it. Like David, we must see what an important thing it is. To David, this was more important than security—“I will not come into the tabernacle of my house… until…” (3). One’s house is a picture of security. Too often, people allow other sources of security to replace the Lord. It may be the security of a job, friends, or perhaps possessions; no matter what it may be, nothing can replace the security that comes from walking close to the Lord.
In David’s reckoning, having a place for God was more important than satisfaction—“nor go up into my bed… until…” (3). The bed pictures satisfaction. One’s work is done, you can be at rest, but if there has been no room for God, then one’s day is not complete.
To David, having a place for God was more important than sleep—“I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids… until…” (4). There can be no rest until God has found a place in the affairs of life. And if we fail to plan to make room for Him, then too often, we fail to make room for Him. We must make sure that God is on the schedule of life every day.
This requires A Daily Practice. If we would have room for Him, then it will require an effort on our part. It will require an investment of time. We must invest time in the Scriptures. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures, for… they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). It is through the Scriptures that we allow God to speak to us.
We must also invest time in supplication. Paul exhorted the believers of Thessalonica to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus told His disciple that, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). When we pray, we are talking to God. Therefore, in prayer and the Bible, we have the necessary elements for a dialogue between us and God.
We must not forget to invest time in service. This is the purpose for which we have been saved. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). It is when men see our good works that God receives glory (Matthew 5:16). If we will strive to make these three elements a part of daily living, we will discover that God has a preeminent role in our lives.
This will result in A Delightful Product. As we determine to find a place for God in our lives, we soon discover that God will do great things in and through us. When Solomon was appointed to the throne of Israel, the first thing he did was to make room for God in his life. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings (I Chronicles 1:6), and that night the Lord appeared to him. The Lord listened and granted his request for wisdom and gave him many other things as well.
Fanny Crosby determined to find a place for God in her life. Although afflicted by blindness, by the age of ten she had memorized five books of the Old Testament and the four Gospels. God took her life and used her to pen over 10,000 poems and songs, many of which are still being sung today.
William Booth was weak and sickly as a child, but he determined that God would have a place in his life. Before he was twelve, he had read the Bible through in its entirety. God would use William Booth to found the Salvation Army and rescue thousands from the clutches of sin and degradation. At his death, over 150,000 mourners filed past his casket. His funeral was attended by approximately 40,000 people (among whom was England’s Queen Mary). When we determine to make a place for God, then God will find a place of service for us in His plan.
Let’s determine, like David, that we will find a place for the Lord.
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Bro. Burcham serves as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Golden State Baptist College. Prior to coming to GSBC, he served as a missionary with his family in Japan for a number of years and then pastored in Missouri. Bro. Burcham also teaches an adult Sunday school class at NVBC.