A Song For Worship

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was present at the Vienna Music Hall, where his oratorio The Creation was being performed. Weakened by age, the great composer was confined to a wheelchair. As the majestic work moved along, the audience was caught up with tremendous emotion. When t … More

Worship

Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship. Going to the house of the Lord can be a chore or a delight. What the temple in Jerusalem was for the Israelites, the church should be for us today. The Israelites went up to Jerusalem three times a year to the great festivals. A pilgrim attending one of these religious festivals rejoiced to worship with God’s people in God’s house (vv. 1-2). As this chapter begins we find a group of pilgrims very excited, singing this psalm, as they make their ascent to the “City of God.”

The thrones for judgment possibly refer to the courts of justice by the town gate (v. 5). In Bible times, the elders in a town sat to hear cases and administer justice at the gate (Ruth 4:1-2). Sometimes the king himself would sit at the gate to meet the people and make legal decisions (II Sam. 19:8). Speeches and prophecies were also made at the city gate (Neh. 8:1).

The psalmist was not praying for his own peace and prosperity, but for that of his brothers and friends in Jerusalem (vv. 6-9). This is an intercessory prayer on behalf of others. The peace sought in these verses is much more than the absent of conflict. It suggests completeness, health, justice, prosperity, and protection. The world can’t provide this kind of peace. Real peace comes from faith in God because He alone manifests all the characteristics of peace.

Application

Too often I am quick to pray for my own needs and desires, and omit interceding for others. I want to make it my practice to pray for others every day.

Psalms 122:1-9 (English Standard Version)

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem--built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" For my brothers and companions' sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

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