Ascending to the House of God
With each of these psalms of degrees, there seems to be a continual rising of thought. Psalm 120 speaks of our distress in this world of woe. Psalm 121 is a song about our help in and from our God. The 122nd Psalm is a song of anticipation. The 123rd is a song of confident faith. And Psalm 124 is a song of grateful acknowledgement, giving praise to our God for the blessed deliverance of our souls. Here, in Psalm 125 the pilgrim sings about the confident security of God’s church and kingdom. We should always come to the house of God in confident faith, trusting him and his goodness.
“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever” (v. 1). The emphasis of our song is the Object of our faith, Jehovah the Lord, our God and Savior. All who trust the Lord Jesus Christ are and shall forever be firmly fixed and secure, being kept in his omnipotent hand of grace. Winds and storms do not harm the mighty mountain. And when all the winds and storms of time are finished, God’s holy mountain, Zion, shall stand forever. Some are like the sand, shifting and treacherous. Others are like the sea, restless and unsettled. Still others are like the wind, ever changing. But believers are like a mountain, strong, stable, and secure.
“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever” (v. 2). The Lord Jesus encamps round about them that fear him to deliver them from all danger (Ps. 34:7). Our God and Savior is a wall of fire around us to consume all who would harm us (Zech. 2:5).
“For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity” (v. 3). The rod of the wicked often falls upon the righteous. Did not Cain murder his brother,Abel? Did not Egypt afflict and oppress Israel? Did not the Babylonians carry them away into captivity for seventy years? When the wicked have opportunity to afflict, they do so with gleeful zeal. Our God never promised to prevent that. Rather he teaches us to expect it.
What he does promise is that “the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous.” The righteous, God’s elect, have a lot that cannot be taken from us; and that lot is eternal salvation. Upon the everlasting salvation of our souls, the rod of the wicked shall never fall, much less rest. It is in the light of our eternal inheritance with Christ that we learn to speak of our woes in this world as our “light affliction which is but for a moment” (2 Cor. 4:17). Notice that the psalmist was inspired of God to assert emphatically that it is the revealed security of God’s elect in and by Christ that keeps the righteous from putting forth their hands unto iniquity.
Therefore we gladly leave it to our God to do as he will in his good pleasure in all things, both with the righteous and with the wicked. “Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel” (vv. 5-6).