Psalms of Ascent: Psalm 132

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Read Psalm 132

A song of ascents.

Lord, remember David
    and all his self-denial.

He swore an oath to the Lord,
    he made a vow to the Mighty One 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 One of Jacob.”

We heard it in Ephrathah,
    we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
“Let us go to his dwelling place,
    let us worship at his footstool, saying,
‘Arise, Lord, and 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.’”

10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
    a sure oath he will not revoke:
“One of your own descendants
    I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
    and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
    on your throne for ever and ever.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

17 “Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”

Editor's Note

Psalms 120-134 are known as the “Psalms of Ascent” or “Pilgrim Songs.” Every year as the Jews traveled uphill towards the city of Jerusalem to participate in one of the three Jewish festivals, these are the songs they would sing. They became a staple of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem back then and now they serve as a helpful template for us as we worship today.

Go Deeper

In the Psalms, one might be tempted to assume they all just happen to repeat the same teaching or the same theme. While there are obviously repeated themes throughout the Psalms, each is unique, each was placed there by God for a specific reason, and He teaches us through His Spirit what each and every psalm is there for. 

In this specific psalm, we see the psalmist reflect back to David, keeping with the theme of reflective praise found throughout the psalms. Many psalms include a reflection back to David or Moses or Abraham, back to the Lord’s goodness in Israel’s past. While reflecting on that, and praising Him for it, the psalmists lift their own spirits as well as those of the readers, cementing them in the fact of God’s proven character throughout history. As we continue, let’s take this same strategy, rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord and believing He will do it again. 

This psalm is split into two halves, the first half (v. 1-10) talks about David’s oath sworn to the Lord. The second half of the psalm (v. 11-18) talks about the Lord swearing an oath to the Lord. In reading this psalm, two verses stick out for us to reflect on, verses 9 and 16. In verse 9, David asks for the Lord’s priests to be “clothed with your righteousness” and that the faithful people might “sing for joy.” The Lord responds to this specifically in verse 16, saying Zion’s priests will be “clothed with salvation” and her people will “ever sing with joy.” What’s so significant about this is that God didn’t just say this, He backed it up with His actions. 

In Christ, we are “clothed in salvation” and we have been given reason to “ever sing with joy.” In Romans Paul tells his readers to “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,” and in 1 Thessalonians we see Paul call his readers to “Rejoice always!” We see this reality that God promised in Psalm 132 coming to fruition here in the New Testament, and now in our lives, through Jesus Christ. He is the culmination of this oath God made with David! 

It is God’s consistency that we can see here in Psalm 132, and it is His faithfulness that we can reflect on and expect in the present and future. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 


  1. What are some attributes of God you can begin to reflect on throughout your days? Jot down a list of ones you see as you continue through the Bible Reading Plan.
  2. How has God shown these attributes in your life? Can you remember specific times in your life you saw God work? Reflect on those.
  3. Where is another place in Scripture you’ve seen God’s faithfulness on display? If you’re new to reading Scripture, awesome! So glad you’re here! Take a peek at the section below and start there.

By the Way

Paul summarizes God’s faithfulness in Romans as well as it has ever been summarized:

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God didn’t just say He loved us, and wanted to reconcile us to Him, He showed it in Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Psalms of Ascent: Psalm 132”

  1. Kinda crazy that we ask God to remember. He knows all things. But this Psalm starts with Lord, remember… We are the ones who forget or choose to walk away from what God has for us. He has made a covant with us that He will never forsake it is us who turn or forget to look to Him. We cannot build for ourselves a Kingdom that will last, that is only through God. Even David, a man after God’s on heart, had troubles in this world. Eph 2:4 BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We have to keep our eyes focused on God who made us alive with Christ. God remembers we just have to bring it to ours as well, minutely through His Word, prayer and love.

    God thank You for being rich in mercy because You loved me. Thank You for me being made alive with Christ. Thank You that I can sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God thank You that You remember and thank You for bringing You to my memory in all I say and do minutely so that I can exude You in all I say and do in Jesus name amen

  2. Attributes of God mentioned in Psalm 132:
    •He is present with his people and longs to dwell with us.
    •He remembers us in suffering.
    •He is a promise keeper and fulfilled his promise in the Davidic covenant.
    •Jesus, the anointed one, is the ultimate display of God’s power, might and glory.
    Immanuel, God with us, has carried my weary heart through life’s greatest challenges. It is one of the attributes I treasure most and will for the rest of my days.

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    God’s longing to dwell with us brought Him here to earth in human form This truth takes my breath away and makes my heart full to bursting. He has walked with me all the days of my life in my joy, in my suffering, yet holds steadfast never changing, mighty and powerful. The glory of the Messiah will last forever. Amen!

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