Notes from Psalms of Ascent – Week 5

“If you, O LORD, kept a records of sins, O LORD, who could stand?” (NIV)

So begins Psalm 130 in Week 5 of our study. And truly, what a question! This question should make us fall on our knees in thankfulness to God for His great mercy, for if He kept a record of our sins not one of us could stand up under that condemnation. God is just that holy – we literally could never be in the presence of God with the stain of our sin upon us. But the psalm doesn’t end there. The question is followed by a statement that fills our souls with hope, “But with You there is forgiveness, so that You may be revered.” Psalm 130 goes on to describe this hope as waiting and watching…”more than watchmen for the morning”…knowing without a doubt that God is true to His word and that He fully redeems us from our sin through His Son.

Psalm 131 calls us to a recognition that pride is often a stumbling block in our ascent to the next level of relationship with the Lord. Why is God so opposed to arrogance and pride in our lives? Perhaps because arrogance and pride are a focus on ourselves rather than on God. Perhaps because arrogance and pride can become a habitual behavior and attitude in our lives. Perhaps because arrogance and pride are barriers to having compassion for other human beings. Humility, on the other hand, brings our minds into a place where we are not the focus. Instead, we can focus on others and develop a servant attitude. What would our lives be like if we made a habit out of humility?

Beth Moore describes Psalm 132 is one of 11 “royal psalms” scattered throughout the book of Psalms that may actually have been written by Solomon instead of David. This psalm recalls the hardships endured by King David, and his promise that he would not rest until he had fulfilled God’s command to build a permanent dwelling place for Him on earth. It was David’s greatest desire to bring the ark to the city of Jerusalem, but as we read in Joshua, Judges, and I/II Samuel, this did not happen quite as smoothly as David had hoped. Ultimately, David was able to bring the ark to Jerusalem but only after He learned to obey God’s instructions completely and without the slightest error.

We serve this same God! A God that is simply that holy and powerful.

See you next week!

Study Guide answers (pages 144 and 145 of your study book): 

  • Tabernacles
  • 70
  • 10
  • All; captive; king’s daughters
  1. Wise up; forgive; outwit
  2. Encourage
  3. Love; deeply
  4. shields; armor; one hand; weapon; other; sword; fight for; with

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