Today we look at three of the fifteen “Songs of Ascents” at once (see this previous post for more information on those fifteen psalms). These three are all very short psalms (as most of the “ascent” psalms are), totaling only 21 verses between them. These 15 psalms are called by some the songbook of the Jewish pilgrim, as they were often sung on the way “up” to Jerusalem during a time of feast.
Psalm 125 uses the geographical metaphor of Jerusalem being surrounded by mountains with the assurance that God surrounds His people. There are seven mountains that surround Jerusalem. The area around Moriah is where the first and second temples were built, and is synonymous with Mount Zion in the Bible. But Mount Zion is referred to as the whole range, as well as a specific portion of it, which was the Jebusite stronghold that David conquered. Then there are Bethsaida, Mount Scopus, the Mount of Olives, Ghareb (sometimes called Calvary), and Mount Opel.
Psalm 129 may not appear so as it begins, but it is a song of hope and assurance. The psalm begins with a short lament over the ways that God’s people have been oppressed and have struggled for so long amid ungodly foes. But as the singer gazes into the distance at Zion, he sees visible evidence of God’s mercy and faithfulness to His promises. Verse 4 gives the hearer the message: “The Lord is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.”
Psalm 130 is a song of pleas for mercy and forgiveness – not corporate forgiveness for Israel itself, but for the individual. The singer recognizes that if the Lord should “mark iniquities,” nobody could stand. But he trusts in the Lord and His saving grace; and he will wait and put his faith and hope in God’s word.
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
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.