Friday, September 9, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 122-123

Psalm 122

A Song of degrees of David.

1I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
2Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
3Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
4Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
5For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
7Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
8For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.

9Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

Psalm 123

A Song of degrees.

1Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
2Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Chapter 122

Since even I had a hard time understanding this chapter, here's Matthew Henry's insight on the first few verses for the sake of clarity, "The pleasure and profit from means of grace, should make us disregard trouble and fatigue in going to them; and we should quicken one another to what is good. We should desire our Christian friends, when they have any good work in hand, to call for us, and take us with them. With what readiness should we think of the heavenly Jerusalem! How cheerfully should we bear the cross and welcome death, in hopes of a crown of glory! " With that in mind, what I get out of the first few verses (and probably the chapter as a whole), is that what I do here on earth will have its rewards in heaven, but I shouldn't do things that glorify God just to receive the blessing. I don't struggle with that because doing something just to receive the blessing isn't a motivation for me, but it's good to be reminded of it anyway. I've helped out with Christian friends in April work with an organization called Food 4others by getting together with a group from a church and help pack food for the less fortunate, so I guess in a roundabout we helped other people prsoper or provide prosperity (vv. 6-7) by providing a basic need. Had there been several groups helping out that day, I imagine the people that needed the food wouldn't have been at peace with each other and would have maybe lived angry and frustrated because of the lack of food. It was a cool thing to help out to bring about the peace of knowing for the less fourtunate to remind them that people do care about them and people do want to provide for them. I don't think about making a difference in someone's life who is halfway across the globe that often, but I helped do it and I thank Him for the opportunity. Although we didn't directly say, "Peace be within you" (v. 8) for the people we provided for, we expressed that by providing for them, which I already kind of talked about. I don't have too much to say about verse 9, but what it means to me is that seeking fellowship and opportunites to serve (with others) is driven by the house of the LORD our God because His love can expressed when taking advantage of and partaking of those opportunities, such as serving with an organization.

Chapter 123

In my darkest moment, I did lift up my eyes to Him (v. 1). I like the comparisons in verse 2 because they remind me that God is a personal God and that He has emotions of love an compassion. And even though God answered my prayer to deliver me from the enemy immediately -- meaning that He started working on it as soon as I cried out to Him -- I still had to wait for Him deliver me so the enemy wouldn't bother me, which was how I waited (or looked upon Him) till He had mercy on me. I did want for Him to have mercy on me (v. 3), but He had to test me first through my trust in Him even though the enemy mocked me by using my trials to say that I wasn't good enough for God even though it's not about being good enough. I remember being filled with (or enduring) much scorn or ridicule from the enemy when he used my trials against me, but trust in the Lord was what helped me to endure and overcome the enemy's lies. I can't really describe my trust beyond that, but it was a real test of faith, which was strengthed by trust in Him and confidennce that He wouldn't leave me alone even if I continued to stumble.

                                                  Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 122". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

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