Tag Archives: Psalms of Ascent

Five Minute Friday :: Sing A Song of Ascent

I haven’t done this for awhile, but I’m diving in today to write for five minutes flat on the word “Sing”. Find more five-minute essays or join the conversation here.

I cannot. Sing, that is. I warble along with songs on the radio or on my I-phone and I put my heart into worship on Sundays, but singing solo is just not my thing. And believe me — you wouldn’t want it to be.

I camped out in the Psalms of Ascent during Holy Week (Psalms 120-134) and I couldn’t help myself. I lifted my voice to chant holy songs that have carried words of praise, cries of lament, choruses of gratitude to the ear of God for thousands of years.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Verses like these prepared my spirit for the darkness and the beauty of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. When our gathering of believers burst into song on Easter, I was ready and willing to sing with abandon.

As I read the 15 Psalms of Ascent, I thought of David, author of several of them and “a man after God’s own heart.” It is from his seed that Christ descended. His lifelong journey was filled with song. He was a man wont to celebrate with undignified abandon when filled with the joy of his Lord.

David Crowder expresses David’s joy in one of my favorite praise songs, “Undignified”. Enjoy.

I will dance, I will sing to be mad for my King
Nothing more that’s hindering, there’s passion in my soul
I will dance, I will sing to be mad for my King
Nothing more that’s hindering, there’s passion in my soul

I’ll become even more undignified than this
Some may say it’s foolishness
But I’ll become even more undignified than this, oh yes

 

 

Your Shade on Your Right Hand :: 31 Days of Selah

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
 nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life. The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 121 ESV

Aren’t we all travelers, pilgrims on a journey? Psalms 120-134 are referred to as the “Songs of Ascent” or the “Pilgrim Psalms”. They were sung by those who journeyed along the road to Jerusalem as the faithful made their pilgrimage to the temple for three annual feasts.

These verses, beginning with Psalm 120, take the reader on a quest to draw closer to God, not just physically, but also in their knowledge of Him and His attributes. They are sequential and build toward a final blessing in the closing verse of Psalm 134:

“May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.”

Receive this blessing from the rich heritage of pilgrims who have gone before you and ask God how these words can draw you closer to Him as we begin preparation for Advent.