“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!'”
~ Psalm 122:1
This is the next of the Jewish Songs of Ascent. Remember to read this psalm in its proper context. It was written by David (a Jewish believer) for Jewish believers making pilgrimage to Jerusalem. That does not mean it is irrelevant and useless to you as a Christian believer. No, there are eternal truths and principles that fully apply to you as one of God’s people today. You must take the then and there meaning for the original audience and apply it to the here and now for the Church and you as an individual believer.
This song was probably sung upon arrival and entrance into Jerusalem after a long pilgrimage to attend the required festivals, feasts or sacrifices as commanded by God of the Israelite people. This is a psalm that rehearses both the decrees and blessings of the LORD regarding Israel, and their stewardship responsibilities as his covenant people. It highlights the centrality of Jerusalem as the place of worship for Israel. Praise the LORD that as Christian believers we do not have to travel to a centralized city to worship our God in fullness. Jesus himself declared,
“…the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21b,23-24)
It is good and right and proper to gather as the local church, and to do so regularly. As with the psalmist David, our hearts too should be glad when the community of believers are to gather (v.1). Our feet, too, should be standing ready to go when the call to gather is made (v.2). We should be eager, prepared and unburdened to gather as the local church whenever it gathers; not reluctant, distracted or too busy. As Christians, we should see the strength and beauty, the design and purpose of the Church, giving thanks to the name of the LORD (v.3-5). We too, should pray for peace (unity and harmony) for the Church and the individual members of it (v.6-8). We too, should seek the good of others for the sake of the LORD our God (v.9).
May the worship of your heart ascend to the Lord Jesus Christ as you reflect on Psalm 122.