The first half of Psalm 132 recounts David’s desire to “find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob” (v. 5). Although this sounds like a reference to building the temple (something he would express a longing to do later), it isn’t. It has to do with relocating the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (v. 8). You can read about this in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13.
This was not a passing interest of David’s but a passion. He makes an oath that:
3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
The seriousness of David’s intent is further evidenced by the psalmist speaking of his “self-denial” or the “hardships he endured” (ESV). While we don’t have a specific record of this in the historical accounts of David’s life, there’s no reason to doubt it. As a follower of God, David often suffered (think of his difficulties in Saul’s court, then being on the run from Saul, etc.). David was not a perfect man, but he had a heart for God.
And that’s worth celebrating.
The young in the caravan of travelers would hear about the exploits of the man who lived for God. They would learn from his strengths and be warned by his weaknesses. The old would be reminded of the time when the kingdom was one nation under God. All would feel their steps lightened and their hearts gladdened as they pressed on to the city.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)