Psalm 122 – A City Bound Firmly

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the third of the 15 “Songs of Ascents” (see this previous post for more information). The superscription says that it is “of David.” It is a song of joy at the privilege of making a pilgrimage to Zion, God’s chosen city.  It resonates as well for Christians as we make our pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem as stated in Hebrews 12:22-24:

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Psalm 132 – If Your Sons Keep My Covenant

David dances in the presence of the ark.

David dances in the presence of the ark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is psalm number 13 of the 15 “Songs of Ascents” (see this previous post for more information). Some have classified this as a post-exillic psalm, but that really does not appear to be the case. If one looks carefully at verses 8-10, it is evident that it was written at a time when the Ark of the Covenant was still in the possession of God’s people:

 

Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one

 

Also, those verses are quoted at the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 2 Chronicles 6:41. Or perhaps, the passage here is a quotation of that scripture. Either way, the ark seems not to have been missing at the time. In verse 6, Ephrathah, is a district with villages called Bethlehem and Jaar – or Kiriath-jearim, where the ark had been left for a time before coming to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 7:1-2).

 

The song’s lyrics build the pilgrims’ excitement as they journey to Jerusalem for the Passover and other feasts; and gives them pause for remembering the promise of the Lord to have one of David’s line on the throne forever. this was a conditional promise, though, as they were reminded by the psalm itself in verse 12: “If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.”

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

Psalm 121 – My Help Comes from the Lord

Psalm 121 is another of those known as a “Song of Ascents” (Psalms 120-134). The superscription in the KJV terms it a “Song of Degrees.” These psalms are otherwise known as “Pilgrim Songs,” “Songs of the Steps”, or “the Gradual Songs.” As tradition holds that these psalms were sung by those making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, this one appears to be intended to give reassurance to those making that journey.

City of Jerusalem from a distance

City of Jerusalem from a distance

Verse one begins with “I lift up my eyes to the hills,” which would fit very well for someone traveling to Jerusalem. The question that follows (“from where does my help come?”) and its answer in verse 2 (“my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”) both are meant to apply to the traveler in his present circumstance, as well as to all of us throughout life. The idea is that we are in good hands with He “who created the heavens and the earth” as our keeper.

In these eight short verses, the reference to God as the “keeper” is made six times. The line in verse 5 (“the Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand”),  recalls the words of Psalm 91:1 (“he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”). Verse 7 (“the Lord will keep you from all evil”) does not mean that He will never allow anything bad to happen to His people. The second part of the verse tells the story of the promise of salvation for His people (“he will keep your life”). As Paul said to the Romans, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.