Reading: Psalm 122
A song of ascents. Of David.
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the LORD—
to praise the name of the LORD
according to the statute given to Israel.
There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your prosperity (NIV).
This third psalm in the Song of Ascents series is a psalm of arrival. The pilgrims have arrived at Jerusalem the destination of their pilgrimage. The following statement makes it clear that the weary travelers have arrived: Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up—the tribes of the LORD—to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.
Landestreu sunrise — photo courtesy of Donald Adam
It should be noted that this pilgrimage to Jerusalem was not merely an event for the occasional tourist. As the psalmist states, he came to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel. In fact, this pilgrimage to the holy city was required according to the Law of Moses. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 34-23-24).
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, frequently made this journey to fulfill the requirements of the Law. The first reference to this pilgrimage is found in the account of the twelve-year-old Jesus remaining in the city after his parents had left to return to Galilee (Luke 2:41-50). His last pilgrimage to celebrate the Passover ended with his crucifixion and resurrection.
With the psalmist we join in praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and peace within the church of God.
Response: Father God, we pray for your peace—the shalom of God. May your peace come to Jerusalem, and to all of Israel, and especially to all the followers of your dear son, Jesus. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you regularly pray for peace in the house of the LORD our God?