Psalm 125:1-2 A song of ascents. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures for ever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and for evermore.
There are 15 ‘Songs of Ascent’ (Psalms 120 to 134), which were festal songs sung by God’s Covenant People as they made their regular pilgrimage up to the Temple on Mount Zion to celebrate his saving grace to them. How good it was to encourage one another, and remind themselves collectively of God’s covenant goodness and faithfulness, by corporate singing. Can we relate to this – especially after the restrictions we’ve had placed on our singing?
There are two eternal, unchangeable truths expressed in today’s two verses; they are true now, and they will remain true into the age to come.
The first is that the LORD our God is an unchanging God, and if we ‘take hold’ of him in resolute, unwavering trust then we also will remain steadfast as he is. Yes, we live in an unstable, shaky world where there is very little we can depend on as permanent – health, job-security, even personal relationships – and it is easy to allow ourselves to become fearful and discouraged; the storms of life can loom too large for us, just as they did for Jesus’ disciples in the boat (Mark 4:37-41). But when we reach out to God and put our trust in the infallible promises of his Word we, too, ‘cannot be shaken’, because we are joined to him, united with him. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
The second unchangeable truth is even more crucial and more comforting. OK, so GOD does not change – HIS love and faithfulness are completely dependable no matter how fierce the storm might become – but what if MY trust falters and MY grip on him fails? The psalmist reassures me: not only is the LORD , like Mount Zion in the midst of Jerusalem, firm and stable, but like the mountains surrounding Jerusalem he provides present and future protection from the onslaught of any trials or difficulties that come against me. He ‘SURROUNDS’ me with the protection of his love and faithfulness as well as providing them FOR me, so that I can take hold of them for myself! I am grabbing firmly onto HIM because I am so desperate, but my greater comfort is that HE is holding tightly onto ME because I am so weak and fickle!
No wonder the Apostle Paul was able to proclaim confidently: “[Nothing] in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
– Bruce Christian