In Psalm 120 the pilgrim was outside the Promised Land looking at those around him.
In Psalm 121 he was looking above him.
Now in Psalm 122 the pilgrim has left his original dwelling place and has begun to move
He is approaching the city.
This is a Psalm written by David.
His life was deeply entwined in the city of Jerusalem.
The city occupies a special place in the heart of God.
Jerusalem stands in a special relationship to the purposes of God.
The first time Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible is the occasion when Abraham
defeated the four kings.
As Abraham was returning from his victory, he was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem,
who blessed Abraham with the blessing of God. (Gen. 14:18-20)
In Abraham's day the city of Salem (meaning, "peace") is traditionally
believed to be the city of Jerusalem.
During that earlier period (Salem) or Jerusalem was situated in the midst
of the cities of the Gentile nations.
In spiritual terms it represented the testimony of God in the midst of the heathen world.
Much later when David was anointed king by all Israel at Hebron, his very first action
was to capture Jerusalem from the Jebusites. ( 2 Sam. 5:6-9)
David made Jerusalem his capital.
There were two prominent things:
So, Jerusalem was a place where God were known, worshipped, appreciated, and served.
- On Mount Moriah was the temple which was the house of God.
- On Mount Zion was the palace which was the house of David.
It was also the site where the power and authority of God was recognized, exercised, and manifested.
We must remember that Jerusalem has always stood as a representation
of the testimony of God on earth.
It was where God was honored, and respected, and worshipped.
That is Jerusalem.
This Psalm was written by David when he was returning to Jerusalem.
What we want to see as we examine this Psalm is that it is a song, which was sung
by pilgrims whenever their feet approached the gates of Jerusalem.
The Beginning Notes Of The Psalm: " I was glad..."
I was glad!
It was a song of gladness.
It was a hymn of rejoicing.
We are all aware that our Christian pilgrimage has its Moriahs and Elims. (Exodus 15:23-27)
That is how we find our lives as Christians.
- There are moments of sorrow and there are moments of gladness and rejoicing.
- At times our pilgrimage will take us into the valleys surrounded by precipices
and will envelope us in darkness.
- At other times we will have our mountaintops and our clear horizons.
- There will be occasions when our way will be hilly and treacherous,
slippery and narrow, and thorny and rough.
- There will be journeys when our pathways will be a fertile plain,
and the landscape will be lined with flowers.
We will enjoy beautiful gardens and blue skies and breathe fresh air filled with the songs of birds.
We are confronted on the one hand with disappointments, trials, sorrow, malice, and bitterness.
We have to drink of the waters of Marah.
Then we come to Elim with its twelve springs and seventy palm trees and camp by its restful waters.
So, it is true that in the ascent of a soul toward God, the Christian will encounter valleys
and mountaintops, hills and plains, Marahs and Elims.
With this background we can see that the preceding Psalm was a "song of sorrow"
sung at Marah.
In his time of sorrow the pilgrim discovered that God is the keeper of his soul.
He experiences the reality of God.
We also notice that his song sung at Elim has changed to one of gladness and rejoicing.
In rejoicing the pilgrim discovers the blessedness of the fellowship of the saints.
So, although we do experience difficulties, we also receive relief.
God provides those times of gladness, rest, and joy for His children.
So, David opens this song with such a note: "I was glad."
Why was he glad?
What has made him happy?
He Discovered Others Who Loved The House Of God.
" I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
It always encourages us when we discover that we are not alone in our life with God.
Remember Elijah saying," Lord I only am left."
God told him that he was not alone for there were 7,000 others who were still following the Lord.
(1 Kings 19:14,18)
The pilgrims who are making their way to Jerusalem come from every direction.
As they approach Jerusalem and come close to the gates of the city,
they fall into lines in order to enter the gates.
So they automatically experience fellowship.
Two experiences emerged out of that fellowship:
As Christian pilgrims, when we migrate away from the world and towards God,
- The first is that "our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem."
Fellowship with the saints brings their feet within the gates of Jerusalem.
- The second experience that the fellowship brings to them is a vision of Jerusalem
and the blessedness of its fellowship.
we also find ourselves migrating towards each other.
We lose one kind of life -- that of the world, to gain that of another -- that of the church.
As the pilgrims approached the gates of Jerusalem, they talked
with one another and had fellowship together.
Their hearts were encouraged.
They were gladdened and their cups of joy became full.
Then they lifted their eyes and beheld the city of Jerusalem.
They had a vision of that great city of God.
Fellowship always brings vision and revelation.
What do they actually see as they look upon Jerusalem?
Jerusalem means the abode or habitation or the city of peace.
Jerusalem was a dwelling place.
It was a city.
A city just doesn't happen.
It has to be built.
It is composed of many and varied elements, yet it becomes a unit.
The church is comparable to that.
Romans 12:5: "We being many are one body in Christ."
We are all different, yet we are all one in Christ.
We are one in Christ, and each of us has the life of Christ imparted to us.
Jerusalem is a city which is compacted together.
It is a city which has been laid out according to plans.
You see house after house, and row after row, street after street just as it was planned.
All elements are well built and gathered together.
It almost resembles something organic or something living.
A city planned like Jerusalem is easily governed and can be well protected.
The church is like that.
We discover that we are not alone.
We have many brothers and sisters.
Our relationship is that of a body fitly framed and connected together in a compact entity
How do the Israelites find their unity with all their diversities?
Where do they find their oneness?
They find their unity in Jerusalem.
As they journey towards the city of God, they realize that they are of one people.
They are not a scattered people.
They are one.
Jerusalem is the place where they find and express their sense of unity.
It is not good for man to be alone.
We need each other!
We need to be together.
We must be together.
We are members of the body of Christ -- the church of the living God.
We find our unity and oneness in the body of Christ.
The unity is already there, and God exhorts us to
"keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)
This we must do!
We must turn away from everything that tends to divide us.
We must not be at odds with each other.
God is not pleased with us when we are at odds with our brothers and sisters.
We are all one in Jesus Christ.
We must commit ourselves to the oneness that God has given us:
"One body. One Spirit. One hope. One Lord. One faith. One baptism.
And the one God and Father of us all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all." (Eph. 4:4-6)
So, we come together to remember our God.
We assemble to express our appreciation to Him.
We gather together to worship and praise Him.
Let us always find ourselves in the assembly of God's people when it is time for worship.
If we have tasted and experienced the goodness of fellowship;
if we have the vision to the church of God, then we will do the one thing we must do,
and that is we will pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
We will pray for the peace of "the abode of peace."
We will pray for the "house of peace."
This should be our prayer!
This message was by Dr. Harold L. White.