Readings: Psalm 120- 135
The Psalms of Ascents were a group of 15 psalms most likely collected by king Hezekiah.. To review: our southern Judean king, who loved the Lord wholeheartedly, brought back traditions and practices of his ancestors. He collected proverbs, and psalms to bring them back into the culture. He wanted to worship as his forefathers did, repairing the temple that his father had destroyed, bring back music, dancing, joy, and the traditional feasts. Collecting these 15 poems and reinstating their use would profoundly make sense in this story. Previously, these poems or songs were sung by the Israelites as they traveled to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover. King Hezekiah brought about a rededication of the Passover festival by unifying his people and the nation that was once their enemy. He invited everyone to the festival and most likely reinstated these songs to be sung as they worshiped.
Years ago, my church studied the Psalms of Ascent with a bible study written by Beth Moore. During the 6 weeks of study, we were directed to memorize psalm 121. And to this day, I still have these verses memorized. Most of the time, during difficult times, I have a repertoire of verses that I go to in my mind and silently pray them. “Oh Lord, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 1) And these few sentences provide me peace in that moment. Sometimes it’s just the beginning of the Lords prayer, I murmur. But having that arsenal available has been invaluable.
Are there scriptures you have memorized? What are you favorite? I have never regretted the times that I have chosen to memorize scripture. It’s not a practice I undertaken often but I do have a desire to make this a habit. Hiding God’s word in your mind is one of the most rewarding gifts God has given us. His word is a weapon we can use at any given moment. It gives us joy, just as these pilgrims ascended the steps of the temple singing. And it can provide us peace that surpasses all understanding.