Journey Through The Scriptures
Psalms of Comfort and Hope
Lesson 7: The House of the Lord
(Scripture to Read: Psalm 122)
This psalm will be very familiar to friends of The Fellowship, for several reasons. Verses 69 are almost a theme for our ministry, expressing our constant prayer for peace in the Holy City of Jerusalem and throughout Israel. What’s more, our supporters will recognize the Hebrew word used in the title of this psalm, “A Song of Ascents.” The word meaning “ascent” or “going up” is aliyah, the same word Jewish émigrés use today to speak of their prophetic return to Israel.
This title identifies this as a song that was sung by Jewish worshipers as they approached Jerusalem on pilgrimage to worship God.
The pilgrim worshiper who wrote Psalm 122 was probably going to Israel for one of the three annual festivals during which God commanded all Jews to come to Jerusalem – the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. As this pilgrim made his way up to Jerusalem (which was always elevated in Jewish thought), he recorded his joy at the prospect of worshiping God in His holy sanctuary.
Jerusalem was the location of God’s presence and the seat of the great Davidic dynasty. This devout person was doing what we can still do today: go to Jerusalem and feel the awe and wonder of the presence of God!
- What does this psalmist’s joyful attitude say about the importance of worship?
- Who are the “brothers and friends” for whose sake the psalmist wants peace to reign in Israel?
- Do both Jerusalem and Israel still need our prayers for peace?
Something to Think About
Certainly this worshiper was awed by what he saw as he approached Jerusalem. You can experience this same incredible sense of holy awe and joy by visiting Jerusalem and Israel today. As you “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” why not ask God for an opportunity to “come home” to Israel. The Fellowship and I would love to be your hosts!