Welcome to The Devotional Guy™! I’m glad you’re here. A few weeks ago, we left off our Psalm Saturday series at Psalm 126. Today, albeit a day late, we’re picking up our exploration of the “Songs of Ascent” that comprise a substantial chunk of the “Great Hallel.” These psalms were sung in worship as the Israelites journeyed from their homes to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual festivals of their faith. These are songs that would have been sung by Joseph and Mary as well as our Lord Jesus and His disciples as they participated in the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pay homage to God. Hallel is simply a command to praise the Lord. The Hallel Psalms serve as a foundational element shaping the worship of ancient Hebrew and early Christian cultures, like how hymns influence our more modern modes of worship today.
In Psalm 126, we observed the writer rejoicing over the Israelites return home while praying for a complete restoration of God’s people. This week, we will look at Psalm 127, 128, and 129, to get us back in the swing of things.
Psalm127 features the wisdom of Solomon praising God’s blessing of family. Trusting in God produces benefits that hard work alone cannot provide. It can be foolish, frustrating, and futile to pursue work without seeking God’s blessing. The Lord promised Israel the blessings of having children if they worship Him alone and were faithful to obey His commands. The words of Moses in Exodus 23 and Deuteronomy 28 record this promise. It is important to remember that like all blessings and curses outlined in the Old Testament, these promises related specifically to Israel and were not repeated under the new covenant. We must, therefore, avoid expecting the blessings and curses that God promised Israel under the old covenant. However, today we can and still do consider children and grandchildren to be a great blessing. This is especially true for those who bring children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6). Whether building a house or a household, as believers, we should seek God’s blessing for every endeavor.
In Psalm 128 the writer rejoices in God’s blessings. He reviews prior blessings and then prays for greater blessings. The psalmist contends that all who fear God and obey His precepts enjoy many blessings. Faithful, obedient followers of God tend to be productive and prosper in all that they pursue. It is important for believers to strive to walk in God’s ways, assuring us of our eternal security regardless of our present circumstances. We know that God’s will is perfect, good and pleasing, no matter what.
Psalm 129 sees the psalmist praising God for delivering Israel from her enemies. He asks the Lord to keep His hand of providence and protection over the people of Israel in the future. Believers can follow the psalmist’s example, thanking the Lord for His past goodness and deliverances while simultaneously praying for God’s continued protection against future obstacles and oppressors. We know that there are those who hate us and our biblical values, seeking to destroy us and silence us. However, while our flesh may be mortal, our eternal salvation in Christ is secure.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good! No matter what.
As always, thanks for reading.
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ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry of Chaplain Rainer Bantau, a Swiss-born, German kid who grew up in East Texas and today ministers throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Blackaby, Henry and King, Claude A. (1994). Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Broadman and Holman Publishers. Nashville, Tennessee.
Lockyer, Herbert (1966). All the Books and Chapters of the Bible. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Randel, Don Michael (2003) The Harvard Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Tomlin, Chris and Whitehead, David. (2017). Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change the Way You Worship. Thomas Nelson Publishing. Nashville, Tennessee.
White, James F. (1993) A Brief History of Christian Worship. Abingdon Press. Nashville.
Bob Utley’s Free Bible Commentary
Thank you to the artists and talented editors providing images and tools at Pixabay and Pixlr.
Thank you for sharing more about these Psalms. I went back and read each of them, slowly with a better understanding.
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I’ve found reading them regularly results in deepening my spiritual walk. Perhaps that’s because so many sang them throughout history as they made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.