(Quotes from Beth Moore’s Psalms of Ascent study guide in italics.)
I previously blogged about this psalm and things I had learned because of studying it here. This entry will focus on applying this psalm to my community.
Psalm 122 – New Living Translation
- I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
- And now we are standing here inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem is a well-built city, knit together as a single unit.
- All the people of Israel – the LORD’s people – make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the LORD as the law requires.
- Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David.
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.
- O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.
- For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be with you.”
- For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem means “city of peace.” Ironic, isn’t it, given the situation that has always surrounded that city, even up to, and especially including, today. I have never been there, but I have a strong desire to one day go. I think every believer does. Beth described her feelings about the city:
No other city is like Jerusalem. It beckons sojourners like no other land, and like no other place I’ve ever been, it lends a strange sense of “home” even to the visitor casting her first glance. Kay Arthur once told me that the more you go to Jerusalem, the more you want to go. I’ve found that to be true. I felt the spiritual draw the first time I went, but after the second time, I departed with a sense of urgency that I must go again and again.
Maybe this sense of urgency comes from the fact that this is where Jesus will set up His earthly kingdom and all of us will be gathered there for that coronation.
In the second day on this psalm, Beth focused our attention on our “Jerusalem” – our church and community. She asked what I loved about mine. I love that people in my church are genuinely there to seek God. They are real and transparent. I love that our church is making a real, tangible difference in the lives of people in our community – not just other church members. I am genuinely “glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.'”
We can parallel this psalm to our own families, churches, and communities. Beth says: You have been assigned to your town or your city, and equally, it has been assigned to you. You may feel like an exile within its city limits, but just as God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, He wants to prosper you there. We’ve been called by God’s purpose to the places we live.
Here is the psalm updated to reflect my own church and city.
I look forward to going to God’s house each week. My feet walk the halls of First Baptist. First Baptist, following the leading of God, “keeping the main thing the main thing.” Where believers from many different backgrounds come together to worship God. (This is our great privilege!) There, we can come before the throne of God, the throne made available to us by Jesus, Son of David. We pray for the peace of southwest Sumner: “May those who love the Lord prosper; may there be peace in our communities and families, and prosperity and growth in our churches.” For the sake of my family and friends, I will pray for peace in our community. For the sake of our Lord’s church, I will seek His will for you, southwest Sumner.