Psalm 138:2 (ESV) …. I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
In David’s day the temple was not yet built, though the thought of it had been in his heart for many a year. At the time of the Absalom rebellion not even the site of the temple had been selected, though David had already begun to accumulate the enormous treasure he eventually left to enable Solomon to build God’s house. In David’s day, the sacred ark reposed in the special tent David had pitched for it in Zion. Yet his faith soared far beyond. In his mind’s eye the gorgeous temple was already built. Perhaps he already had in hand the divine blueprints, a copy of the reality in the heavens (David was seer and prophet enough to know that).
David, also, was too great a saint to imagine that any one spot on earth could have more than symbolic value in localizing God’s earthly habitation. Temples and shrines and sacred spots on earth often prove to be more of a hindrance than a help in focusing our attention on spiritual realities. David, turning his heart toward God’s house, is simply David preparing his soul for worship. The temple was so real to him because he was in touch with a God that “dwelleth not in temples made by hands” and because David habitually worshiped God in His heavenly temple.
Still the thought of a literal temple on earth made him glad. He might be able to make do with thoughts of it; others would need something more substantial. Not all believers had attained his spiritual maturity.
Ask yourself, Lord what stirs my heart for you? What causes me to want to worship you in my living? Let your mind drift to the stirring worship of believers gathered in one voice of praise to our mighty God!