Read: Psalm 122; Hebrews 10:24 – 25; 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:19 – 22,
1 Peter 2:5
Psalm 122 is a “song of ascent,” fittingly sung when pilgrims came within sight of Jerusalem. It is a call and commitment to worship; it magnifies Jerusalem as the center of worship; it calls for prayer for the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem.
Think About It: Based on the New Testament references for today, what is a Christian application of Psalm 122:1? What is the “house of the Lord” in New Testament terms? Do I worship joyfully?
Prayer: That I might experience and express genuine joy in worship.
Read: Psalm 122:2, 7; Psalm 46:1; Ephesians 6:11 – 14; 1 Peter 5:12
Psalm 122 verses 2 and 7 remind us to take our stand within protection of the church.
Think About It: Jerusalem was a fortress of stone built in the mountains, offering very tangible protection. What protection is offered by Christ’s church? How, exactly, do I take advantage of the church’s protection? From what do I need to be protected?
Prayer: Thank God that He is a mighty fortress, my refuge and strength.
Read: Psalm 122:3; Hebrews 11:8 – 10, 13 – 16
Psalm 122:3 reminds us to make the goal of our spiritual pilgrimage the experience of fellowship in the body of Christ. Some people think that awareness of God’s presence requires a life of desert solitude. The biblical concept is much different: we are to experience God’s presence at the house of the Lord in the city that is built compact together, in company with others. There is a time for solitude, and there are legitimate desert experiences, but the desert is not where we live, it is a place we pass through on our journey to Jerusalem.
Think About It: What are the benefits of solitude? What are the dangers of solitude? What can I experience about God when I am in the company of others that I can’t experience in solitude?
Prayer: Thank God for the fellowship of believers.
Read: Psalm 122:4; Judges 12:6; 20:35; Acts 10:34 – 35; Ephesians 2:14 – 19;
4:3 – 7
Psalm 122:4 refers to the “tribes” going up to Jerusalem. These tribes, although all descendants of Jacob, were by no means always friendly; they had sometimes been in bloody conflict with one another. That they laid aside their enmity and came together to worship peacefully in Jerusalem reminds us of our responsibility to enter into the experience of “unity in diversity” in the church.
Think About It: What are some of the kinds of diversity that exist in our church? What things tend to divide us? What brings us together? Am I doing my part to “make fast the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace”?
Prayer: For the unity of the Spirit to prevail at our church.
Read: Psalm 122:4, 5; Exodus 25:22, 27:21; Numbers 1:53; Deuteronomy 17:9, 31:11; Nehemiah 8:8; 1 Peter 2:13
Psalm 122:4, 5 refer to the “testimony of Israel” and the “thrones of the house of David.” The “testimony” is a term used for the tablets of the Law, which were kept in the ark. The “testimony” was God’s revelation to Israel, and was to be regarded as inspired and authoritative. Psalm 122 verses 4 and 5 remind us that we are to regard God’s word as inspired and to submit to its authority. We are also to submit to all God-ordained authority, as represented by the phrase, “the thrones of the house of David.”
Think About It: According to the Scripture references for today from Deuteronomy and Nehemiah, how was God’s word utilized by people in Old Testament times? How do I utilize God’s word in my life? Do I recognize the authority of God’s word? Is my attitude toward legitimate authority characterized by submission or by insubordination?
Prayer: Forgive my rebelliousness, Lord; help me to submit to legitimate authority and especially to the authority of Your Word.
Read: Psalm 122:4; Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Hebrews 13:15.
The last phrase of Psalm 122:4, “Give thanks unto the name of the Lord,” is very clear in its implication for us. The New Testament instructs likewise.
Think About It: Are my life and worship characterized by thanksgiving and praise? What are some ways God is blessing me right now?
Prayer: Praise God for who He is; thank Him for all His benefits.
Read: Psalm 122:6 – 9; Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Psalm 122 verses 6 through 9 direct us to pray for the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem. We can do this literally, recognizing the obligation laid down by God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:3. We should also pray for the peace and prosperity of the whole church, and for the success of the Gospel ministry.
Think About It: What motives are suggested for prayers for peace and prosperity in Psalm 122:8 – 9? Why should I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, according to Genesis 12:3? Have I been doing this? Will I do this?
Prayer: For the peace of Jerusalem; for the well-being of all of Christ’s church, including the congregation of which I am a part.