The Ascension Psalms
Psalm 120 — Our Distress
In Psalm 120 the pilgrim leaves his home in distress, calling upon the Lord to deliver his soul from the trouble and heartache he experienced from slandering tongues and a world of strife. Added to that, God’s pilgrim was constantly aware that he dwelt in Meshech. Meshech was the son of Japheth. His descendants were the people to the north of Israel. They were commonly associated with Magog, the enemies of God and his people. Meshech here represents all false, antichrist, freewill, works religion.
Psalm 121 — Our Help
Turning his eyes, his heart, and his mind away from all that troubled him, Zion’s pilgrim looks away to God on his throne in Psalm 121. Jehovah-Jesus is our Help. He is our Keeper. He will preserve us from all evil. He will preserve our souls!
Psalm 122 — Our Anticipation
Next, in Psalm 122 Zion’s weary pilgrim turns his mind toward God’s house and the assembly of God’s saints around his throne (the mercy-seat — Christ our Propitiation), anticipating the prospect with gladness.
Psalm 123 — Our Faith
In Psalm 123 the pilgrim sings about our faith, the faith of all those who worship the Lord God in spirit and in truth, the faith that expresses itself in worship and is encouraged and strengthened in the house of God by the preaching of the gospel, the songs of praise to our God, the prayers of God’s saints, and the ordinances of Divine worship.
Psalm 124 — Our Acknowledgement
In Psalm 124 the tried, tempted, slandered pilgrim acknowledges, “God my Savior is my Keeper.” — “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
Psalm 125 — Our Confidence
With each of these psalms, there seems to be a continual rising of thought.
Here in Psalm 125 the pilgrim describes our confidence in our God. Let us come to the house of God in confidence, confidence in him and his goodness to needy sinners in and by Christ Jesus.
Psalm 126 — Our Joy
In Psalm 126 the song moves up another scale. Redemption and grace in Christ is our joy. — “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things
for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
Psalm 127 — Our Security
In Psalm 127 the pilgrim in Zion meditates upon the security of God’s house, as he ascends to it. Here is our security. The building of God’s house is his work. The security of it is his work. The children he gives are his heritage. Knowing these things, we read, “so he giveth his beloved sleep.”
The house and city spoken of here is the church of God. He builds his house and keeps his city. That gives us sleep (peace). The children are the children of God, his gift to Christ, brought forth from Zion’s womb. They are arrows in the hands of Christ, our Mighty Man of War, the Captain of our Salvation. The happy man, whose quiver is full, is Christ. His children shall never be ashamed, confused, confounded, put to confusion, or make haste.
Psalm 128 — Our Way
In Psalm 128 the psalmist speaks of our way, the way in which we walk, the way of faith in Christ, and the ways in which Divine providence takes us.
Psalm 129 — Our Foes
Our foes are many and relentless. The slanderer’s tongue is a sharp arrow that will never cease to pierce and hurt. But in Psalm 129, as he moves up to the house of God, Zion’s happy pilgrim bids his foes farewell and commits them to his God. That is exactly what we must do.
Psalm 130 — Our Hope
Psalm 130 describes our hope. It is the hope of grace and forgiveness through Christ’s blood atonement.
Psalm 131 — Our Contentment
The pilgrim sings, as he moves toward God’s house in Psalm 131, of humility and contentment. Oh, that I might be as a “weaned child” in this world!
Psalm 132 — Our Prayer
Psalm 132 sets before us that which ought to be our prayer as we come to the house of God. It is a prayer based upon God’s own promise. — Remember me and remember your people, chosen, redeemed, and called by your grace.
Psalm 133 — Our Delight
In Psalm 133 we see Zion’s blessed pilgrim’s face begin to beam with joy, just as he approaches the house of God, he sees and greets his brethren gathering with him.
Psalm 134 — Our Praise
In Psalm 134 we see God’s pilgrims at the house of the Lord, calling upon one another to worship and praise the Lord God, our Savior. Let it be our determined purpose, as we gather with God’s saints, to give our praise, adoration, and worship to our God, and seek his blessing upon all who come with us into his house.
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