Monday, May 31, 2010

5/30/10- Psalm 120

WHY A DAILY DEVOTIONAL? Pilgrimage is an ancient practice. God even commanded that his people (if they could) go to Jerusalem each year for the Passover and Feast of Booths. A strong tradition grew up, and Psalms were written for these pilgrimages. Psalm 84 is an example, but Psalms 120-127 are called “Psalms of Ascent.” They were read (probably sung and memorized) as people ascended (climbed) the temple mount- Mt. Moriah. They also were read as people traveled many hundreds or thousands of miles to come to Jerusalem. If even scripture sees the need for devotionals as people come, then it makes sense that we do too- for our particular trip. It is a blessing that we have computers and can tailor make our trip and out devotionals to suit. I hope this devotional will help you get more out of each day of our trip and you will be drawn closer to God, seeing the invisible underneath the visible.

Preparation Day -9 Psalm 120 (5/30)
Preparation Day -8 Psalm 121 (5/31)
Preparation Day -7 Psalm 122 (6/1)
Preparation Day -6 Psalm 123 (6/2)
Preparation Day -5 Psalm 124 (6/3)
Preparation Day -4 Psalm 125 (6/4)
Preparation Day -3 Psalm 126 (6/5)
Preparation Day -2- Psalm 127 (6/6)
Preparation Day- -1 Psalm 84 (6/7)
DAY 1- (6/8) Traveling Psalm 139
Day 2- (6/9) Isaiah 9:1-3;
Day 3- (6/10) Matthew 5; Matthew 11:20-24
Day 4- (6/11) John 4; Lk. 4:24-30
Day 5- (6/12) Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-15
Day 6- (6/13) Matthew 23:37-39
Day 7- (6/14) Luke 21:5,6; John 5:1-8
Day 8- (6/15) 1 Samuel 23;9; Ezek. 47:8,9
Day 9- (6/16) Isaiah 56:5 (Yad Vashem)
Day 10- (6/17) Arrival Back- Psalm 137:5,6; Matthew 28:18-20
Preparation Day -9 (5/30) Psalm 120

1 I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.
2 Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
3 What will he do to you, and what more besides, you deceitful tongue?
4 He will punish you with a warrior's sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom bush. 5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek, that I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.

(Tents of Kedar- Kurdish tents)

How is this a Psalm of going to Jerusalem? It expresses two deep felt ideas: 1) That we need to be saved or escape from those who speak evil of us; and 2) That those who are for peace should seek Him.
It expresses the desire/need to get away from those who do evil and speak evil of us when we do good. Kedar was the second son of Ishmael. The Meshek were descendants of the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2)- who many say become the Moscovites in Russia. In other words, his pilgrimage was from very far away (thousands of miles). – But also he was saying too long has he lived among his tents. His real home (not a tent) was with the people of God. He meant he had lived among those who didn’t believe in his God, and spoke of him in derogatory and even persecuting ways.
He also says he seeks peace. The word “Jerusalem” literally means “foundation of peace.” To go to Jerusalem means to seek peace with God- away from those who are for destruction and sin.

Prayer: Lord, be my refuge, my shelter, my rock, my still waters, green pastures, quiet peace. As I prepare to travel to the land you chose long ago for your people, grant me your peace and strength.

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