“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.” Psalm 120 is the first of fifteen songs of ascents. These ancient inspired compositions began in places far-off from the temple in Jerusalem and ended at the top of Mount Zion in the presence of the servants of the Lord.
The psalmist did not start out with a heart filled with spiritual comfort but in the “distress” of a worshiper who knew that he was far from the place where God was known and loved. He was surround by people with “lying lips.” He knew that only the Lord could deliver Him from danger and bring him safely to his desired destination.
The Lord’s pilgrim addressed the tongues of his adversaries in his song. He warned them of the danger that they would face because of their deceit. One day they would be silenced by the “sharp arrows” of a warrior who would stand against them.
The psalmist had experienced the dangers of living among the ungodly. He mentioned two residences that were very far away from each other. Some worshipers may have traveled to the temple from “Meshech” while others came all the way from “Kedar.” In either case, they were far from those who knew and loved the Law of the Lord. They had tried to live at peace with their ungodly neighbors, but those around them were determined to pursue violence.
The faithful followers of the God of Israel have always been on pilgrimage. We live in places where there may be little respect for the truth and where people are unwilling to seek God’s richest blessings. We need Jesus to show us the way to live every day. We are learning to follow a King who is leading us home to our Father. He is the stairway to heaven and the Captain who brings us safely along many treacherous roads. In our distress we call out to the Lord, and He brings us help from on high.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, please help us in our distress. There is much trouble all around us. It is a great challenge to live in this world. Our confidence is in Christ. For His sake You will hear us and help us.