Monday, October 6, 2008

pSunday Psalms: OVERVIEW OF PSALMS 126-134

When we read these Songs of Ascent together, a flow between them may be detected.
  • The first three psalms describe the journey to Jerusalem, from the pilgrim's home (120), to the blessing he receives for his travels (121), to his arrival at Zion (122). They end with the pilgrim praying for the "peace" of the city (122.6-9).
  • The second set of three retraces the same themes, from the standpoint of the pilgrim entering Jerusalem. He looks up from his troubles and lifts his eyes to God in trust (123), testifies to God's protection on the journey (124), and expresses his assurance in the security of Zion and God's people (125). The set ends with a blessing of "peace" (125.5).
  • Psalms 126-134 describe various issues of life that are addressed for the pilgrim who is participating in the worship at Jerusalem.
What concerns does God help us face and deal with when we come together with His people, and stand before His presence and His Word?
  • Restore your people! (Ps 126). Remembering what God has done in the past, we pray that God will bring full and continual renewal to his family.
  • Give us our daily bread! (Pss 127-128). Acknowledging that we trust God ultimately for the daily blessings of life in our work and family, we seek his blessing. (Note once more the concluding blessing of "peace" at the end of Ps 128).
  • Put the world to rights! (Pss 129-130). In these two psalms we pray that the righteous Lord (129.4) will deal justly with those who oppose him (129), and redeem His own people from their sins (130).
  • We hope in the Messiah! (Ps 131-132). In Ps 131, David expresses his childlike faith and encourages Israel to hope in the Lord. Then in Ps 132, we respond to David's prayer, and recall God's covenant with David, praying that God will bless His King and provide for those who take refuge in Him.
  • Blessed in the Lord's blessing (Ps 133-134). We celebrate the blessing of having worshiped in unity with God's people (Ps 133), and then leave the sanctuary with an antiphonal song of blessing (Ps 134).
The collection ends with the main confession of faith in these psalms:

"May the LORD bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth." (Ps 134.3)

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