A Climbing Song

Psalm 122

This Psalm is the third in a series of 15 songs of ascents, sung by Israelite pilgrims as they ascended to Jerusalem; the highest city, physically and metaphorically in Palestine, to attend a religious festival. The focus of this Psalm is worship. A core feature of our Christian community is to worship God together. The pattern set in ancient Israel continues to this day, in people groups around the globe. It is not an isolated practice, but a widespread, popular activity, below the radar of media attention. This song notes a joyful willingness to worship at the house of the Lord; not a half-hearted, formal, duty-bound observance (v1).

Eugene Peterson’s ‘The Journey” is a reflective meditation on these songs. He notes that the pattern of the tribes going up to Jerusalem provides order, a framework for Israel’s life, as worship provides  framework for our lives too. The praising of our Creator and Saviour is an essential aspect of our relationship with Him – it nurtures, acknowledges, opens our minds and hearts to God’s words and His will- and centres our attention on what is really important, praiseworthy.

The statute (v4), or command to praise the Lord is given out of love, for our benefit – not for slavish rule keeping. It recognizes we may not always feel like praising Him, but to praise Him is more important than how we feel. The bible focuses much more on how we should act rather than on how we should feel.

Through worship we pray for and experience the peace and security  that passes understanding (6-8). A wholeness through God’s salvation, a peace and security that is not dependent on our bank balance, health or situation, but a dependent  trust that everything is alright because God is over us, with us and for us in Jesus Christ. (p42 The Journey)

Praise Him.

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One thought on “A Climbing Song

  1. Thank you Philip. I think its really important that if we are to mature as Christians we must learn NOT to rely upon our feelings. Feelings are fickle and change at a moments notice. If I do what I feel like doing my life would be very different and not for the better. To be able to “push” through regardless of my feelings or emotions is vital. As we praise God our eyes are take off our own circumstances and redirected to Jesus. For those going through hardship putting on a garment of praise will help to sustain you. For those who are lonely and hurting praising our Lord will lift you heart to a different place. He deserves our praise so let us enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving today. I personally love the verses from Habakkuk 3:17-19 which describes a very barren and hard time for Judah and yet Habakkuk’s feeling were not controlled by the events around him but by faith in Gods ability to give him strength. It reads,:

    Even though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
    Even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
    Even though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
    The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes my feet like the feet of the deer,
    He enables me to tread on the heights.

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