A Promise, a Manger, and a City with No Need for the Sun

A Promise, a Manger, and a City with No Need for the Sun

A Song of Ascents
There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. (Psalm 132:17)

Psalm 132 is the longest and clearest of the Songs of Ascents. As we've seen in the earlier psalms, we are coming up out of exile in hopes of a restored Jerusalem. Psalm 132 tells us why this Jerusalem is so special: it is the place of God's dwelling and the throne of his anointed.

Two concepts come together in this city: the Lord's presence (the ark) and the Lord's reign (Davidic kingship). This is what makes it the zip code of our dreams. These two things. The place where God dwells. Where his presence is known. Where his nearness is felt. And the domain of his power. The execution of his authority. The government of his righteousness.

The psalmist is looking for this place. He wants to go there. Then in the fullness of time, in a person, God sends it all here. The presence and kingship come in a baby. A horn sprouts for David. Jesus is God with us (Matthew 1:22–23). And Jesus is the King (Matthew 2:5–6) — both of Israel and the nations (Matthew 2:11).

Don't miss it, though. Psalm 132 isn't really fulfilled in the Gospels. It's more like a bullet straight to Revelation 21. The picture here is post-Golgotha. This horn of David will see his enemies clothed in shame (Psalm 132:18). He won't be wearing a crown of thorns then.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb [the descendant of David]. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb . (Revelation 21:22–23; 22:16)

No longer will there by anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. (Revelation 21:3)

Here is the vision of ultimate Christmas merriment.

We know that Jesus has come and that he will come again. Tonight we celebrate his birth and long for his return.

Merry Christmas! and Come, Lord Jesus!

________

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.