The First Step

Greetings fellow sojourners! We are dedicating our time over the next several months to the Psalms labeled the songs of ascent. As you know, they were sung during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the seasonal feasts. These 15 psalms were also thought to be correlated to the 15 steps leading up to the temple. In both of these events there was rising up to the next level with God, which is our purpose as well! As you memorize Psalm 120 picture yourself taking your first step.  In John Calvin’s Commentary on the Book of Psalms, he saw life as a pilgrimage towards God. His aim was to bring the whole of life under divine guidance. Each day he thought we ought to increase in purity and knowledge. As purity and knowledge of God increased so would our love for Him and humanity. As a reward, the saints may see visions of God’s beauty and peace, and know in their hearts how calm and gracious he is towards us. Hallelujah!

Let’s continue memorizing Psalm 120 this week. As we do, let’s focus the lens on some of the verses. This psalm is considered by some scholars as an individual lament. As we begin our spiritual progression towards the Lord, using these psalms as guidance, let’s consider what we would speak to the Lord as our lament – knowing in advance He will deliver us! Verse 1 reads, “In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered me.” This statement was made by the writer with full understanding that he had called on the Lord in the past and He had proved faithful; therefore, He would prove Himself to be no different now. We shall do the same! In whatever large or small distress you are suffering, call to the Lord and expect Him to come to your aid!! DO NOT expect anything else. The Lord has shown Himself faithful and He will continue to do so. This verse illuminates a complete dependence on the Lord during distressful times. Shall we do the same?

Verses 5-7 highlight the psalmist present living situation and the desire to be delivered from the unrest. Do you or someone you know have a similar lament? Be of good cheer! Like the pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for nothing less than an expected celebration, you too can step your feet on the path of this spiritual journey in anticipation of progression and offering a bounty of heartfelt praises to the Lord!

This psalm closes with a reminder to the Lord for deliverance from the long suffering that has been endured. Are you or someone you know in a difficult place and suffer the affliction of situations devoid of peace? Let’s join this psalmist and ask the Lord to establish His peace because we have no intention of spiritually staying here….we are on a pilgrimage! Heads up DIVAs!

During the week of Passover, we will be fasting and praying and will end with communion. You can fast in whatever way you are able but hopefully you will be determined to find something to sacrifice that week. More to come!

In His grace,
Amanda

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