Again, delayed in posting this week. But I have a good excuse! I am in Missouri for my 20-year high school reunion! Time flies.
In Week 1 of our study we looked at Psalms 120 and 121, began studying Psalm 122, and focused on the psalms as songs. Above all, we are encouraged that God wants us to approach Him in song if that is how we can most effectively express ourselves. Sing the Psalms!
In the Psalms of Ascent, as the Israelites made their regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem, we can both see and hear how this group of psalms were the songs that accompanied the steps of their journey. This group of psalms are short in length, possibly because they were meant to memorized. When you read them, the emotions are so strong that you can almost imagine hearing the voices of the Israelites together as they sang.
Psalm 120 speaks of distress and laments living life as an exile in a fallen world. The author says, “Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.” As the first song of the Psalms of Ascent, it is fitting that the journey would begin with expressing discontent and longing for the LORD to deliver us. The author pleads, “LORD, deliver me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.”
Psalm 121 is reassurance that, even in the distress of living as an exile, the LORD will protect. The Hebrew word shamar, which means “to protect or keep,” is used six times in these 8 verses. We are reminded that our God never sleeps, never takes a break, never takes his eyes off of His children. The steps of our journey are under His watchful gaze, both now and forever.
See you next week!
Viewer Guide answers (pages 34-35 of your study book):
creation; God, Father, Christ, Son
emotions, experiences, spoken, satisfy
- beautiful, unaffected; spirit, mind
- change; affect, God
- created world; humans, angels