Daily Family Worship

Psalm 122: The Song of Salem

by | Jun 29, 2024

psalm 122

We stand in one of the valleys of the Promised Land, which flows with milk and honey. We see a company of travelers approaching in the distance; they are journeying from their homes in one of the other tribes of Israel, and they are hastening to be at Jerusalem to celebrate one of the joyous Feasts of the Lord. As they advance, we catch the sound of their voices; they are passing away the tiring hours of weary travel by singing the words of a Psalm. We listen attentively; and at length, we can distinguish the words: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord! Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.” Louder and louder grows the melody; the thought of the glories of the city, in which Jehovah had His special dwelling-place, cheers the exhausted travelers; and the surrounding mountains echo the beautiful invocation: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces!”

Now it is not required of us to undertake any wearisome pilgrimages. We are not called to leave our homes and set off on a long journey, in order to seek the Lord at some far-distant shrine. Nevertheless, we are still bound to the duty of public worship in the assembly of the Lord’s house. The privilege of worshiping God is still left to us, even though we are graciously freed from the inconveniences (if we may call them such) that the ancient Jews were under. But in order that the removal of difficulties may not produce indolence and slothful-ness in our spiritual lives, it is still just as necessary for us to exhort one another with the words, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!” We know, of course, that there is a sense in which the Almighty “dwelleth not in temples made with hands”; in fact, “heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him” – and how much less the houses which His creatures build! However, just as He may be said to dwell especially in heaven, yet in virtue of His omnipresence, He is equally everywhere. In heaven, He manifests Himself with greater brightness than in any other scene; but He may also be said to dwell particularly in our churches, if He gives the extraordinary tokens of His presence therein. And when a true servant of God goes up to the sanctuary, it is in the humble but earnest hope of gaining greater knowledge of doctrines which concern his salvation. He desires to gather fresh supplies of that manna which “cometh down from heaven,” and he longs to drink a fresh draught of “the water of life.” But it is not only on account of the advantages derived from the preaching of the Word, and from the administration of the precious Sacraments, that the sincere Christian is earnest in attending the sanctuary; for there is also a charm and a power to him in being associated with a multitude of his fellow-believers, in the acts of prayer and praise which draw him to God’s house. It is an inspiring and elevating thing when numbers of men, women, and children join – with one heart and voice – to ask for Divine protection, and to celebrate Divine love! Surely there is more of the imagery of heaven in such a picture, than in any other which may be seen upon this earth.

Thank You, Lord, for the precious blessings that are conveyed to us when we gather together with our fellow-believers, and unite our hearts and voices to ask for Divine protection and celebrate Divine love! Amen.

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