We have been recently reading through the “songs of ascent” (Psalms 120 – 134) for our scripture reading during Sunday morning worship. Several times a year the people of Israel would travel to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in the temple. As they met up with family and friends going up to Jerusalem they would sing these psalms together. There was a mixture of joy and sadness, as they were glad to see each other again, but were aware of the problems within their nation.
When we are once again able to be together in corporate worship we will resonate with the words of Psalm 122:1, “A Song of Ascents. Of David. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” It is good even now to look forward to that day, reminding ourselves that our current situation is indeed only temporary.
It is good as well to learn from one of those other psalms – Psalm 131:
A Davidic song of ascents.
LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me.
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child.
3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD, both now and forever. (Psalm 131:1-3 CSB)
This is a time to come to the Lord with humility. This virus remind us how dependent we are. A few weeks ago we thought we could handle anything that came our way. We might have even said that “God will never give us more than we can handle.” We must recognize that is not a true statement unless we add, “with His help.” We need the Lord! This is a time to recognize our constant need of His grace which He so willingly supplies.
This is a time to calm down. The psalmist uses the analogy of a mother calming her toddler. When a little one is hurt or scared, a mother may offer some explanation, but most of all just reminds the child through her hugs that he is safe in her presence. So we comfort ourselves (literally “our souls”) by reminding ourselves who our heavenly Father is and of the great love He has for us.
This is also a time to express hope – not just hope in our leaders or our technology and ability, but in our Savior. We know His power, we know His Love, we know His wisdom, so as David encourages Israel; “put your hope in the Lord, both now and forever.” If we have trusted His son He is with us now and always will be!