We begin today in Psalm 124. It is a Song of Ascents about the Lord’s deliverance. David begins by telling what would have happened to Israel if the Lord had not been on their side (124:1-2). The “let Israel now say” of verse 1 shows that this is a corporate prayer and not an individual prayer. Without God on their side, their enemies would have been victorious over them (v. 3) and the tribulations of life would have overcome them (vv. 4-5). But God was with them, and He preserved His people (v. 6) and saved them (v. 7). Israel’s help is the Lord and Creator of heaven and earth (v. 8). This Psalm credits God with all the victories Israel has won and for all the good they have.
Palm 131 is a Song of Ascents about faith. The idea is that even though David cannot comprehend God, including why He does things the way He does, yet he will only and always hope in Him. David begins by expressing his humility (131:1). He does not spend his time trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, the secret things of God (see Deut 29:29). Rather, David trusts and rests in God like a child his mother (v. 2). He ends by calling for all of Israel to hope in God as he does (v. 3). This is a beautiful Psalm that expresses complete faith.
Psalm 133 is a Song of Ascents that commends the unity of God’s people. David declares it good when brothers dwell in unity (133:1 – the word can also mean “community”). He compares unity among the saints with the anointing of the High Priest (v. 2 – see Lev 8:12). David is making unity the requirement for entering into God’s presence, which only the High Priest could do. He then compares it to the dew of Hermon (v. 3), a reference to the rains that fall on the mountain that run down and water the land below. In this song, the waters water Zion, a symbol for God’s people. It is a metaphor for the unity of the saints abundantly providing life. He says that there – amongst the people of God – YHWH has commanded blessing and everlasting life.
Psalm 138 is a Psalm of thanks. David offers thanks with his whole heart (v. 1). He is single minded in his thanks of God. He worships God through his thanks for God’s hesed love and faithfulness, and because God has made His name and His Word exalted above all things (v. 2). David then thanks God for answering prayer (v. 3). Verses 4-5 picture a time when God’s Word will reach the ends of the earth and all kings will give God thanks and sing His praise. Even though God is exalted (see v. 2), He regards the humble (v. 6). That He knows the haughty from afar implies that He is close to the humble. David then praises God for His preservation and protection (v. 7), knowing that God is preserving him for a purpose (v. 8). Therefore, David prays that God would bring to completion the work He has begun in him (see Phil 1:6).