Psa 120: Approaching God means stepping away from the world
song of ascents.
Comments: This psalm is the first of fifteen psalms
headed ‘A song of ascents', psalms of going up. It is uncertain
what that ‘going up' referred to. These fifteen may be songs sung
going up the steps into the Temple, or they may be simply psalms
that pilgrims sang as they went up to worship. Perhaps we may
see them as steps to take us nearer into the presence of God.
start comes with the psalmist registering his discontent, his
unhappiness, of having to listen to people bad-mouthing others
[v.1,2], of having no stable basis to their lives [v.5], people
who are violent in outlook [v.6,7], people who just deserve God's
punishment [v.3,4]. In all of this he seeks to distance himself
from the unrighteous as he approaches the Lord.]
A cry to be delivered from those who speak unrighteously
call on the Lord
in my distress,
and he answers me.
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
The Lord will punish those who speak like that
will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
will punish you with a warrior's sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
I live among those with lives without foundations
to me that I dwell in Meshek, [tribal
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
I almost despair of living among violent people, I long for peace
long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.
Comments: In approaching the Lord, ascending into His
presence, the psalmist starts out by recognising the state of
the world about him, and declares his intent to distance himself
from such attitudes and such lives.]
to Psa 121