June 29, 2020
For the next 15 days we will be reading through the Psalms of Ascent together as a church! The Psalms of Ascent are a collection of 15 psalms (Psalms 120-134) that pilgrims would sing on their way up to Jerusalem to worship. These songs are meant to instruct and prepare the hearts of the traveler to worship the Lord! As sojourners and aliens in this world, we too need to have our hearts prepared for and instructed in the worship of our God. Let’s meditate on these psalms and allow the Spirit of the Lord to move us to true worship as we seek Him together!
As the first psalm in this collection, this psalm is a sort of “leaving song”, representing the beginning of the pilgrim’s journey to Jerusalem! The psalmist recalls the past faithfulness of the Lord as an encouragement to cry out to Him once more, and then launches into a lament of his present circumstances. He mourns that he is surrounded by a culture filled with lies and deceit, that he is living among people who love war and violence rather than among the people of God!
As a beginning to our journey through the Psalms of Ascent, this psalm represents for us a discontentment with the brokenness of the world we see around us. We see death and disease, loneliness and heartache, corruption and injustice, and we long for something greater, something better, an environment of peace and wholeness!
What we long for, just like the psalmist, is to worship the Lord, to be in His presence and among His people. The psalmist longs to remove himself from among the wicked and to join the congregation of the righteous worshippers in Jerusalem; we long to remove ourselves from the world and culture which surround us and join with the body of Christ to worship Him together!
We feel this perhaps more keenly than ever before right now in our present circumstances. Injustice, evil, and brokenness are so evident all around us, and yet, because we are experiencing a pandemic, we are unable to gather together with our brothers and sisters to worship the Lord and to receive mutual upbuilding and encouragement. This should cause us to lament!
As we endure with patience and hope everything that life is throwing at us right now, let’s remember that, one day, the yearnings of our hearts to exit this broken world and be in a place where peace and justice reign will be finally and fully satisfied, and let’s do everything in our power to see that become a reality in the here and now, to see God’s kingdom advance in the world!
Deliver Me, O Lord
A Song of Ascents.
120 In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
2 Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you,
and what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4 A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!
5 Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech,
that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace,
but when I speak, they are for war!
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Family Discussion Question:
- How does the brokenness of the world around us move us to seek God and His kingdom? What are some ways we can do that this week?