Several weeks ago I taught on learning songs from the Bible. Then I began to teach the “songs” in the context in which they were written. This week I am teaching on Psalm 19, 125, and 122. Please join us as we learn more about God’s word.
This passage contains one of the Scripture songs. Verse 1 of Psalm 122 explains David’s joy when going to worship God.
A heart for God (1-2)
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. 2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
A heart for praise (3-5)
3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: 4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. 5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
A heart for prayer (6-9)
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. 7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. 8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. 9 Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.
A Heart for God (1-2). “Let us go” sounds tame, like an invitation to a tea. “We will go” is the better translation. Whether this was an invitation to someone living far from Jerusalem, or to David living in Jerusalem, the statement expressed determination and dedication. After the tent had been set up and the ark placed in it, no doubt David frequently went there to worship God, for David’s love for God’s house was well known (27:4; 65:4; 2 Sam. 7:1-3). He rejoiced at an opportunity to go with other worshipers to praise the Lord.
A Heart for Praise (3-5). The Lord had told His people that one day there would be a central place where they would worship (Ex. 23:14-19; Deut. 12:5-7, 11-14, 17-19; 14:23; 16:2, 16), and that place was Jerusalem. The Lord instructed David that the place on Mount Moriah where he had built the altar was to be the site for the temple (1 Chron. 21–22), and He also gave David the plans for the structure (1 Chron. 28). Jerusalem had been a Jebusite stronghold before David captured it and made it his capital city, “the city of David” (2 Sam. 5:6-10). His choice was a wise one, for not only was Mount Zion an almost impregnable citadel, but it was also located on the border of Judah and Benjamin and helped to bind the northern and southern tribes together. King Saul was from Benjamin, and David was from Judah.
When the psalmist looked at the city, he thought of unity and security. Just as the stones of the walls and houses were “bound firmly together,” so the people were bound together in their worship of the Lord and their respect for the throne. The twelve separate tribes, plus the tribe of Levi, shared the same ancestors and history, participated in the same worship in the same Holy City, and were governed by the same divine laws. But it was the praise of Jehovah that was central (v. 4). God had commanded that His people go to Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Ex. 23:14-19; John 4:20-21), and the people went as worshipers and not sightseers. Yes, there was much to see in Jerusalem, but giving thanks to the Lord was their most important task and their greatest privilege.
A Heart for Prayer (6-9). The name “Jerusalem” means “foundation of peace,” and yet the city has been a center of conflict for centuries. If we understand biblical prophecy correctly, there can be no peace in Jerusalem or on earth until the Prince of Peace reigns on David’s throne (Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:26-33). So, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are actually praying, “Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10) and “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). Jesus wept over the city because its residents were ignorant of the peace God had for them (Luke 19:41-48) and had rejected their own Messiah (John 11:47-48). But our intercession must not be perfunctory prayers; they must come from our hearts because we love God and love His people. Note the fruit of the Spirit in this psalm: love (v. 6), joy (v. 1), and peace (v. 6-8; Gal. 5:22).
This commentary was provided from the book “Be Exultant (Psalms 90-150), Repackaged”, written by Warren W. Wiersbe.
Reading this Psalm makes me ask myself the question, “Why do I go to church?” Do I go because I have to, or it is expected of me, or maybe it is part of my duties as a church leader? No! I go to worship the Lord Jesus Christ who paid my sin debt with His precious blood on the cross at Calvary, was buried, and on the third day defeated death and hell by coming forth from the grave VICTORIOUS!
We should be going to church as this Psalm states to give thanks, pray, and give praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please meditate on why you go to church. Then go with a new perspective of excitement, thanksgiving, and praise to God.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001