Psalm 121 is one of the songs of ascents that we find from Psalm 120-134. Many of these are written by David but our Psalm for today was written by that famous writer named anonymous. The psalms of ascents were perhaps song or spoken as the faithful ascended the hill/mountain toward the City of Jerusalem for one of the three major festivals each year. Perhaps it was song or repeated as the priest ascended up the 15 steps to minister in the temple of the Lord. The songs of ascents were short memorable and poetic in nature which made them perfect for this purpose.
Most of the songs also had a positive uplifting mode to them and all of them have a note of hope associated with them as does our song of ascents for this week.
Though we don't worship God in the Temple, today when we think about prayer or spending time with the Lord we can still have this attitude of ascending into the Lord's presence and our Songs of ascents serve as good models for us.
The nation of Israel looked at Jerusalem and the Temple as the special place where God could be found. Today many people look at their church as that special place. However the New Testament teaches that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. So we don't have to ascend anywhere to find God though many people find it helpful to have a special place set aside for prayer.
Perhaps as we pray today we can visualize approaching the Lord. We can come with expectation and joy! We can come with humility as one approaching a Holy God. We can come with hopefulness knowing that God cares about us and will do whatever is necessary to draw us closer to himself.
Our Psalm proclaims in Psalm 121:1,2
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Our Jewish friends have ascend the hill leading up to Jerusalem for centuries with anticipation that they would encounter and find help from the Lord. Though we don't have to go anywhere let us not take our special place and position before God for granted.
Prayer: Dear God in our hearts today we ascend in your courts. We humble ourselves before you for you as our holy and majestic Lord. In this place we confess our sins and ask you to test our heart. It is in this place that we give you thanks for your forgiveness and seek your wisdom. Open our hearts and quiet our minds that we would find you. In Jesus name Amen
Ponder: I'm so glad that I don't have to climb a mountain to find the Lord but perhaps setting side time and pushing away my cares so I can focus on God is an even more difficult mountain to climb. But it is worth the climb.