There is a specific group of Psalms – from 120 to 134 – that is called, Songs of Ascents. These do not speak of the law but they relate to the matter of captivity. The law brings you to captivity if you try to keep it in yourself with your own strength; the people of Israel were brought into captivity in a land of idols.
As the people of Israel were suffering in captivity, they could not forget Jerusalem with Zion – signs and symbols of the God they worshipped. Therefore, they prayed for their return, they desired and yearned to go up to Zion and Jerusalem. These psalms were sung as they journeyed up to Jerusalem with Zion.
let us go to the house of Jehovah!
In Psalm 122:1 the psalmist rejoices when he is being told, Let us go to the house of Jehovah! Today in the church life we rejoice whenever someone tells us, Let us go to the meeting to enjoy the Lord! We shouldn’t care for outward things, keeping the law in an outward way, or anything else – we need to have a love for the house of God, for the church life.
If the highways to Zion are in our hearts, while we are practicing the God ordained way to carry out His New Testament economy, there is a corresponding inward development in us. We love the house of God in Jerusalem, and we desire to be in Zion, where God dwells!
those who trust in Jehovah are like Mount Zion
In Psalm 125 we see the praises of the saints in their going up to Zion – they praise Jehovah’s surrounding of His people as the mountains surround Jerusalem (Psa. 125:2)! Praise the Lord, God surrounds us, protects us, guards us, and keeps us safe – much safer than any mountains!
Also, the psalmist loved Zion so much that he likened himself to Zion, the mountain which cannot be moved but abides forever (Psa. 125:1). Hallelujah – those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion! We do not trust in ourselves, our efforts, our desire to pursue the Lord – we trust in the Lord, and we are like Mount Zion: we cannot be shaken or moved!
God cares for, blesses, and provides for His people
“Unless Jehovah builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psa. 127:1) – unless the Lord is the One who builds the church, in vain do we try to build the church or care for the saints. The Lord said, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18) and it is He as the Christ in resurrection and ascension that takes good care of the church, builds up the church, and even keeps the church as God’s kingdom.
All we have to do is cooperate with Him and NOT do things in and of ourselves to “help the Lord” in building up the church. We shouldn’t trust in our capacity to speak, build, or even watch over / guard the saints – the Lord is doing this!
If the Lord does not do anything for us, whatever we do will be in vain – “It is vain for you to rise up early, / To stay up late, / To eat the bread of toil; / All the same, He gives to His beloved while they sleep” (Psa. 127:2). This verse should release us and free us from any labor and human effort – instead of toiling and striving in ourselves, we need to trust in the Lord and do our best with the little power He gave us. He provides and He blesses us even while we sleep!
Whatever we do without trusting the Lord means nothing – whether we labor or not, it is all the same. The result depends not on our labor but on the Lord.
trust in the Lord – He will provide
Most people in the world today live as if there is no God and it is up to them to do everything so that they may have something. This “modern way of thinking” may also affect us as believers in Christ. But we need to know the Lord in such a sweet way as the One who blesses, provides, and gives us everything. Actually, even our families, our jobs, our schools, and the things we have are all given to us by the Lord – and they are not the result of our effort and toil.
We need to trust in the Lord and have the highways to Zion in our heart, desiring and loving Zion and Jerusalem, and He will bless! Instead of laboring in ourselves, we should trust in God, for He will care and He will bless us!
Lord Jesus, we love You! We love Jerusalem and we desire Zion! Save us from any degradation or captivity – we want to constantly ascend toward Zion, Your habitation, the place of Your blessing. Lord, we put our trust in You. We don’t trust in our power to labor or in our capacity to do something for You. Unless You bless, we have nothing. Unless You build up the church, we cannot build up the church. We trust in Jehovah, our God, and not in ourselves!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from, Life-study of the Psalms (msg. 41), and Psalm 122, 125, and 127, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (2), week 21 – become a fan on Facebook for more updates;
- Buy the Morning Revival on Psalms (Crystallization-Study, part 2, vol 2) online;
- Hymns on this topic:
# It’s nothing I do / His mercy’s is just upon me / And God’s free gift of grace / Becomes and endless joy to me.
# Simply trusting every day; / Trusting through a stormy way; / Even when my faith is small, / Trusting Jesus, that is all.
# I take Thy promise, Lord, in all its length, / And breadth and fulness, as my daily strength;
# I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast shown, / And I begin to see, / What Thou canst be to all Thine own, / What they may be to Thee; / If only they will yield Thee all, / And trustingly obey Thy call.
- Picture source: Psalm 127:1 picture.