Life-Study of Psalmsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the previous message we covered the first eight of the Psalms of Ascents. In this message we will consider the remaining seven, Psalms 128 through 134.
The sequence of these seven psalms is significant. Psalm 128 speaks of Jehovah's blessing to Israel from Zion and the prosperity of Jerusalem in Israel's enjoyment. Psalm 129 concerns God's righteous dealing with the persecutors of Israel and the haters of Zion. On this earth there is a people chosen by God as His elect, and this people is always persecuted. This is true of the believers today, who may be persecuted for preaching the gospel and teaching the Bible. Furthermore, Zion, the highest peak of that range of mountains, signifies the overcomers in the church, the higher ones among the believers. Just as Zion was hated, so the overcomers also are hated. But God comes in to deal righteously with those who persecute Israel and hate Zion. Israel is God's elect, and God deals with those who persecute His people, but this does not mean that Israel is perfect and sinless. On the contrary, Israel has many sins and iniquities. Thus, in Psalm 130 we have a psalm of forgiveness and redemption.
Psalm 131 indicates that after we experience God's forgiveness, we become humble. Formerly, we were proud and even haughty, thinking that we alone were right and that others were wrong. But after we are enlightened concerning our real situation, make a thorough confession, and receive God's forgiveness, we become humble. We humble our heart, lower our eyes, and our soul becomes quiet "like a weaned child with its mother" (v. 2). I have had this experience many times, realizing that I am nothing, that I have nothing, and that I can do nothing. When our heart is humbled and our soul is quiet, we are in a condition that is suitable for God to come in to rest. In such a situation God can have a resting place, a dwelling. However, when we are proud and our eyes are haughty, God has no rest, no dwelling place, in us. Only when we are humble, calm, and quiet is the situation right for God to rise up, enter into us, and take us as His resting place. This is Zion becoming God's habitation, His resting place, as revealed in Psalm 132.
Next, Psalm 133 shows us that Zion is the unique place where the brothers can come together in unity. Zion is the uniting center. In any other place we are scattered and divided. When God has His rest, His dwelling place, in Zion, we can come to Him in Zion and dwell there in unity with the brothers. How good and how pleasant this is! It is like the fine oil, signifying the anointing, upon Aaron, and it is also like the morning dew, signifying grace, that descends from Mount Hermon to the mountains of Zion. This indicates that, as God's people, we need both the anointing and the watering. Moreover, in Zion God has a place where He can command His blessing. Therefore, in Zion we receive the commanded blessing of God, even life forever.
Finally, in Psalm 134 the children of Israel first charge the priests to praise God in the night, and then they bless the priests. Whereas the priests taught and blessed the children of Israel, here the children of Israel teach and bless the priests. This indicates that the children of Israel have become higher than the priests.
The sequence of Psalms 128 through 134 is logical and reasonable. We enjoy God's blessing from Zion and the prosperity of Jerusalem, and then God deals with those who persecute us and hate us. Nevertheless, we are sinful and need God's forgiveness. When we receive His forgiveness, we become humble, calm, and quiet, and God comes in to rest, to dwell, in us. Then we come up to Him to dwell in unity. As a result, we become Mount Zion; that is, we become the highest people, those who are even higher than the priests.
Now that we have seen the sequence of these seven psalms, let us consider each psalm in particular.
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