Reading: Just Psalm 128
Ascending hills or mountains is a common part of trekking any hike on the east coast, especially the Appalachian Trail. Clingmans’ Dome is the highest peak on the AT, sitting at 6,643 feet, in Tennessee. Jerusalem also stands at a high elevation, 2,575 feet. The ascension to Jerusalem for Passover included trekking up this terrain and may have including singing the 15 poems/ songs, called the Psalms of Ascent we have been studying. There are also theories that the temple steps included 15 steps, and the psalms were named after this ascension. No one really knows. What I do know is that singing makes any activity more palatable. I have fond memories hiking with my girls, them beginning to whine a little because their little legs being tired, and singing camp songs to distract our weariness and the next thing you know we were at our destination.
Psalm 128, is one of the 15 psalms. I wanted to spend a little extra time here today. I went back through my old journal last night, the bible study with Beth Moore about the Psalms of Ascent. At the end of the study, she asked the student to choose three of their favorite psalms studied during the six weeks. The first I wrote of course was Psalm 121 because we had memorized this poem. The other I chose was Psalm 128 . I wrote, “Life actually works if you walk in his ways”. One of her queries in the study based on psalm 128 was “Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so how?” I wrote 13 years ago, God is my core. He has brought me out of the point of sin. The sin that others can’t see when they look at me but is on the inside. I am still with my family because I have listened to God.
I am so thankful for the strong and courageous Christian women that have influenced my life, like Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker, Lara Casey, and Abbie Dueckel ( she’s a local girl). Their bible studies have literally pulled me out of the pit when I was in my 30’s and 40’s. I had always struggled with insecurities and even do today. I had allowed others to affirm my innermost feelings of feeling needed instead of allowing my husband and family to do this. But God picked me up, sifted me, and gave me a new lease on life. Believe me, life is not always easy, but learning this lesson 13 years ago, that life could actually work if I walked in his ways and not mine, was life-changing.
Blessings for Those Who Fear God
A song of ascents.
1 How happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in His ways!
2 You will surely eat
what your hands have worked for.
You will be happy,
and it will go well for you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house,
your sons, like young olive trees
around your table.
4 In this very way
the man who fears the Lord
will be blessed.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
so that you will see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life
6 and will see your children’s children!
Being blessed is not the same as self-righteousness. And telling everyone that you meet on the street, “I’m blessed”, is not what God intended when he helped the author of this psalm write these words. He created us. He wants to bless us. He wants us to be happy. But fearing him and walking in his ways is paramount. This fear is the same type of fear that you have for your earthly parents when they discipline you because you know they unconditionally love you, at least for those that have been blessed with earthly parents like these. So, I ask you the same question posed by dear Beth, “Has walking with God resulted in a change in your circumstances? If so how?”