(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
Anytime my family goes to Walt Disney World for vacation, we listen to Disney music on the way. Singing helps us get excited about the trip and builds a sense of anticipation of what lies ahead. It’s a tradition on the journey we make every year – or more.
Today’s reading in Psalms 124-126 make up part of the Psalms known as the Songs of Ascents. Scholars believe these psalms are the ones the Israelites sang as they made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year to offer sacrifices. Call them the first worship set.
These psalms celebrate the wonderful things God did for His people.
God saved them from their enemies:
124:2 Had ADONAI not been on our side, when men rose up against us, 3 then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath burned against us. 4 Then the waters would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over our soul, 5 then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.
8 Our help is in the Name of ADONAI, Maker of heaven and earth.
God protected them physically:
125:1 A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in ADONAI are like Mount Zion— it cannot be moved, but endures forever. 2 As the mountains are around Jerusalem, so ADONAI is all around His people, both now and forever.
God restored them after their exile:
126:1 A Song of Ascents. When ADONAI restored the captives of Zion, it was as if we were dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with a song of joy. Then they said among the nations, “ADONAI has done great things for them. 3 ADONAI has done great things for us —we are joyful!
These psalms, and the other Songs of Ascents before and after them, were important to the Israelites as they traveled to the city that was the center of their faith. These psalms, sung year after year, helped prepare their hearts to be ready when they reached their destination.
Throughout your week, take time to remember the great things God has done for you. As you head to church on Sunday morning or Thursday evenings, or as you drive over to your Growth Group throughout the week, speak out loud what you’re grateful for. You’ll find how easily that attitude can prepare you for what lies ahead.