A Song of Ascents. In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me. 2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips [And] from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree! 5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, [That] I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. 7 I [am for] peace; But when I speak, they [are] for war.PSALM 120:1-7
I AM HOMESICK FOR A COUNTRY
This Psalm begins a run of 15 Psalms that are called the Psalms of Ascent. Jewish people had lived and settled outside of Israel for a variety of reasons. One of the key reasons was a forced relocation by invading armies. Over time these families lived in these far off places and would travel back to Jerusalem on three key holidays (Passover, Pentecost, and the Day of Atonement).
Along the way they would sing these particular songs. If you read through them they take you on a journey from the far country all the way back to the altar in the temple of God.
They were songs of celebration, hope, remembrance, and most importantly songs of confidence in God. They were discipleship oriented. To sing these songs were meant to instill the right ideas or thoughts into the minds of those who are traveling. Especially the children.
We live in a microwave society. We want things to happen our way, right away. It may be a good recipe for customer service when offering a burger, but it’s not great when it comes to developing a life long commitment to God.
Our society is filled with shallow Christians who haven’t put in the time to really experience the power of God in their lives. We used to have to work hard for our food. We used to have to keep the cow milked to get our milk. We had to plant our garden, wait for rain, get rid of the weeds, protect against bugs, be patient for it all to ripen and then harvest within a narrow window. This long process is what it took to produce fruit or for a plant to come to maturity. Similarly true, gospel discipleship takes time. It takes consistency in the same direction.
Often look for discipleship to happen in a matter of a few minutes. We give it one or two Sundays a month and hope that something turns up. We expect as all things to happen in a matter of a few minutes and we wonder when our children are heathens.
We live in a place filled with lies… Lies about who we are. Lies about God. Lies about what our purpose is. Lies about our humanity. Lies about our gender/ sexuality. Lies about what constitutes a life. Lies about marriage. Lies about creation. Lies about the seriousness of sin. Lies about how our sin impacts others.
God hears our prayers. Our prayers will be answered (v4), but patience is required.
As they march up to Zion they are claiming, “we are not like the people around us who live by lies. We live by the truth of God’s word. We are set apart not for destruction, but for the Lord. We are his people. We bear a responsibility to tell the truth even when we are surrounded by those who live by lies. We must share the good news with others. We want them to know! “
Father, Thank you for your word today! I am reminded that we live in a fallen world. A world filled with sin and lies. It is difficult to know who is telling the truth anymore and it is easy to become sinical. Keep me rooted in your truth. Refresh me again with the reminder that there will come a day and I will be in a place where there are no more lies. Where truth abounds and good news isn’t debated but loudly shouted everywhere. Give me grace to live as a foreigner in this world. Let me live as a citizen of that country in this country. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.