Learning from Psalms 120-134
120:1-121:8 - ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips’ (120:2). God calls us to ‘believe the truth’, ‘love the truth’ and ‘follow the truth’. We are to be people who ‘do what is true’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11; 3 John 3-4; John 3:21). How can we be such people? We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is ‘the Truth’ (Hebrews 12:2; John 14:6). When we are tempted to turn away from the pathway of truth, we must remember this: ‘My help comes from the Lord’. We must remember God’s promise: ‘The Lord is your Keeper...The Lord will keep you from all evil’. God’s promise is not only for ‘this time’. It’s ‘for evermore’(121:2,5,7-8). This gives us glorious hope as we keep on looking to Christ,‘eagerly awaiting’ His Return ( Hebrews 9:28).
122:1-124:8 - ‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the Lord”’ (122:2). Why do we go to the House of the Lord? We go ‘to give thanks to the Name of the Lord’ (122:4). We seek His mercy for our past sins: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!’ (123:3). We seek His help for our future temptations: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord...’ (124:8). As we receive mercy and help from the Lord, we worship Him: ‘Blessed be the Lord’ (124:6). In our worship, we ‘look to the Lord our God’, drawing encouragement from His Word: ‘The Lord is on our side’ - In Him we have the victory (123:2; 124:1-5). Rejoicing in God’s blessing, we pray for others: ‘May they prosper who love You’ (122:6).
125:1-127:5 - ‘Those who trust in the Lord... cannot be moved...’. When we put our trust in the Lord, we are like the ‘wise man who built his house on the rock’. His house ‘did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’. When we do not put our trust in the Lord, we are like the’foolish man who built his house on sand’. His house ‘fell with a great crash’. ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’ (125:1; 127:1; Matthew 7:24-27). ‘Jesus Christ’ is the ‘sure Foundation’ upon which our faith is built. He is ‘the solid Rock’, our ‘mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment’ (1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:3-4; Church Hymnary, 10,411). ‘Christ died for our sins... He was raised on the third day’. Let us rejoice in Him: ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’ (126:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). 128:1-129:8 - ‘Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways’ (128:1). If we are to enjoy the Lord’s blessing, we must fear Him and walk in His ways. Many people despise the place of worship. They ‘pass by’. They have no desire to know ‘the blessing of the Lord’. God warns us that we must not allow this attitude to grow in us: ‘May all who hate Zion be put to shame’. We must take care that our love for the Lord doesn’t ‘wither’ away. We must keep on praying that our love for Him will ‘grow’. If we place no value on the Lord’s blessing, our lives will be empty. Come to the Lord with this prayer: ‘The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You, loving You, serving You. I want to know You more, love You more, serve You more’. He will ‘fill’ your life with His blessing (129:5-8; Mission Praise, 646). 130:1-131:3 - We are not to pray to God with superficial words that don’t mean very much to us. Our prayer is to be a real cry from the heart: ‘Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord’ (130:1). We are to ‘cry for mercy’ with a deep awareness of how sinful we really are: ‘If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?’ (130:3). We must come to God with deep humility - ‘My heart is not proud, O Lord’ (131:1). When we truly confess our sin, we receive God’s ‘unfailing love’ and ‘forgiveness’ (4). ‘In the Lord’ we have ‘full redemption’ (7). It is for ‘now’ - ‘The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives’. It is ‘for evermore’ - ‘But purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!’. ‘Praise the Lord!... Give Him the glory!’ (131:3; Church Hymnary, 374).
132:1-18 - ‘Let us go to the Lord’s House; let us worship before His throne’ (7). God is calling us to worship Him. We are to gather together as His worshipping people. As we gather for worship, we remember that ‘the Lord is King’. We do not only give Him the praise of our lips. We give Him the praise of our lives. We do not only sing to Him. We live for Him. We come ‘before His throne’ with this prayer, ‘Take my heart - it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne’. God hears and answers our prayer. He gives us His strength. We rise to His challenge: ‘Rise up, O Church of God! Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings’ (Church Hymnary, 36,462,477). The service of worship comes to an end. Let our service of living begin - and never end!
133:1-134:3 - God sends ‘His blessing’ when His people gather together for worship: ‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!’ (133:1,3). Many people like to think of themselves as ‘believers’, yet they show no interest in worshipping together with God’s people. What does God’s Word say about this? - ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...’ (Hebrews 10:25). ‘Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the House of the Lord’ (133:1; 134:1). Some people never miss a Sunday morning service - but they always miss the Sunday evening services! They are missing out on so much of God’s blessing. ‘May the Lord... bless you...’ on Sunday evenings as well as Sunday mornings (134:2)!