Read: Psalm 125:1 – 5; Isaiah 3:10 – 11
Psalm 125 may be summed up by the words of Isaiah 3:10 – 11: it shall be well with the righteous, but woe to the wicked; for to him it shall be ill.
Think About It: What reasons or promises are given in Psalm 125 that show it will be well for the righteous? What warnings are given to the wicked in Psalm 125?
Prayer: Praise God for the comfort of His promises, and also for the warning of His threats.
Read: Psalm 125:1; Ephesians 2:8 – 9; Titus 3:5
Luther wrote of this verse, “Note how the psalmist commands no work here to be done, but only speaks of trust. . . . The Psalmist leads us the plain way unto God, pronouncing this to be the chief anchor of our salvation: only to hope and trust in the Lord.”
Think About It: How do other religions differ from Christianity in regard to the relative significance of faith vs. works? Am I trusting in Christ for my salvation, receiving it as a gift, or am I trying to earn my salvation with good works and acts of religious devotion?
Prayer: Thank God for salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
Read: Psalm 125:1; Matthew 7:24-25, 16:18; Hebrews 12:22
“Zion” is the name the mountain on which Jerusalem is built; it is synonymous with that city. The Hebrew word may mean “desert” or “wilderness,” perhaps an allusion to the separateness which characterizes God’s holiness and which should characterize God’s people. Mount Zion is symbolic of the whole church (Hebrews 12:22).
Think About It: What can we learn about the church from the symbol of Mount Zion? Is my life characterized by stability and by holiness?
Prayer: Lord, give me more holiness, more strength to strive against sin; help me to stand firm on Christ.
Read: Psalm 125:2; 2 Kings 7:13 – 18; Romans 8:31- 39
John Owen, Puritan theologian, wrote of Psalm 125:2, “That which is here promised the saints is a perpetual preservation of them in that condition where they are. . .that is, from the condition of acceptation with God. . .the Lord is round about them, not to save them from this or that incursion, but from all; not from one or two evils, but from every one whereby they are or may be assaulted . . .and that not for a season only, but it is henceforth, forever.”
Think About It: Is there any area where I feel threatened, either materially or spiritually? What does Psalm 125:2 tell me about my security in the face of that threat?
Prayer: Praise God for His providential care.
Read: Psalm 16:6, 125:3; Jeremiah 29:11; 32:39 – 42
Psalm 125:3 contains a promise related to the lot of the righteous (that which has been decreed by God as their heritage): the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on their allotment. The Hebrew word translated “rest“ refers to a permanent settling down. Sometimes the wicked gain the upper hand, but their advantage is only temporary. The Lord’s long-range plan is for our good; He will deliver His people.
Think About It: What, specifically, is the “lot of the righteous” — what are some of the promises God has decreed are mine? Which of these things are mine now? What will come later?
Prayer: Praise God that the “lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.”
Read: Psalm 125:4; Luke 2:13 – 14; Romans 3:10, 11, 23; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Psalm 125:4 is echoed in a Talmudic riddle: “There came a good one (Moses, Exodus 2:2) who received a good thing (the Law, Proverbs 4:2) from the Good One (God, Psalm 145:9) for the good ones (Israel, Psalm 125:4).
Think About It: According to Romans 3:10, 11, 23, are there in actuality any good people worthy to receive the blessing of God’s goodness? What is our only hope? Am I confident that God will do good to me? On what basis?
Prayer: Thank God that He imputes to me the righteousness of Christ by grace through faith.
Read: Psalm 125:5; Hebrews 12:3 – 13
Does God’s promise to keep me secure, and to surround me with protection, extend to my own weaknesses? Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ – but can I separate myself from the love of Christ? John Bunyan understood Psalm 125:5 as applying to the professing Christian who nevertheless stumbles into wickedness. God’s way with such sinners is to “lead them away with evildoers,” allowing them to suffer the temporal consequences of their sin in order that they might be brought to repentance. Thus verse 5 ends with the benediction, “Peace be upon Israel,” for repentance leads to forgiveness, and reconciliation with God.
Think About It: Read Hebrews 12:3 – 13. Have I ever experienced the Lord’s discipline? How have I responded? Is there any sin – secret or otherwise– in my life right now of which I need to repent, lest God permit me to suffer the consequences of my actions?
Prayer: God be merciful to me, a sinner.