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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the May 27 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: May 27
<< Psa 120
<< Psa 122
<< Psa 127

For New King James text and comment, click here.

Psalm 121; Psalms 123-125; Psalms 128-130   Listen Podcast

 

A note about the introduction to these Psalms
In all of these Psalms (120-134) the introduction to each says "A Song of Degrees." We're not certain what these Hebrew superscriptions mean. The Hebrew word for degrees means "steps of ascent." The Mishnah (Jewish collection of writings on Jewish thought and tradition) assigns the collection of fifteen songs with the fifteen steps of the temple, suggesting that the Levites sang these songs of ascents. Perhaps, but it may rather be that the songs were so subtitled because they were sung in the three annual festival processions, as the participants "ascended" to Jerusalem. Those three annual festivals were Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Tabernacles (see notes on Exodus 34:10-28).

God doesn't sleep (Psalm 121)

A Song of degrees.
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is THY KEEPER: THE LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
The author of this Psalm is not given. God will preserve Israel. This Psalm emphasizes God's faithfulness in being responsive to Israel. The key to this passage is verse 1, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Whenever Israel looked to God, God was faithful to deliver them; he was always available.

Notice verses 3-4; in other documents discovered in Mesopotamia and determined to be written during this same period, a "sleeping god" is a common term and is used to describe one who is unresponsive to the prayers of the person who is calling out for help. You may recall when Elijah was ridiculing Baal in I Kings 18:27 (see notes) for his lack of abilities he said, "...or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked." Of course, Israel's problem was always that they went after other gods. All of their failures as a nation were as a result of not calling upon the one true God of Israel.

To whom do you look for provision (Psalm 123)

A Song of degrees.
1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
In verse 3, the psalmist states a contrast between the wicked and those who have been deemed righteous by God, "Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt." Through God's mercy, He has taken away our contempt and made us righteous.

It's a good thing God was on our side (Psalm 124)

A Song of degrees of David.
1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
Without God on our side, some really bad things could have happened. But God delivered us. Note the analogy given by David in verse 7 of the bird escaping from the snare. David must have felt this way finally after Saul was dead.

Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good (Psalm 125)

A Song of degrees.
1 They that trust in the LORD shall be AS MOUNT ZION, WHICH CANNOT BE REMOVED, BUT abideth for ever.
2 As the mountains ARE ROUND ABOUT JERUSALEM, SO THE LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
4 Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.
5 As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
Peace shall be upon Israel. The reference to Mount Zion here identifies Jerusalem, and specifically the place where David authorized the building of Solomon's Temple. Today, "Zionist" is a word used to describe those who sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the support and development of the State of Israel.

Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD (Psalm 128)

A Song of degrees.
1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
We are not told the author of this Psalm. This whole Psalm elaborates upon verse 1, "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways." The Hebrew word for "fear" in verse 1 is "yaw-ray´" and sometimes means "moral reverence," as is the case here. You will notice in this Psalm, y
our family will be blessed as well when you serve God.

They afflicted me from my youth (Psalm 129)

A Song of degrees.
1 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:
2 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.
4 The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
5 Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
6 Let them be as the grass UPON the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:
7 Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.
8 Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be UPON YOU: WE BLESS YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
While the theme of this Psalm sounds like David, the author is not known. Take care of them, Lord. That's what the Psalmist is saying when we see in verse 5, "Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion." The author's use of the word "Zion" here embodies a lifestyle of dependence upon the God of Israel. He looks to God for his protection from his enemies.

Note the reference in verse 6 to "grass upon the housetops." That's a funny place to find grass. However, with regard to the construction of homes during that period, the uppermost roof was constructed of beams laid across the walls intertwined with reeds and grasses. The whole roof would then be plastered with mud to fill in the gaps and make them relatively water resistant. Seeds in the grass or mud might briefly sprout but would quickly die for lack of roots.

I cried unto thee, O LORD (Psalm 130)

A Song of degrees.
1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is MERCY, AND WITH HIM IS plenteous redemption.
8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

For insight regarding the term "A Song of degrees," click here to see the introduction to these Psalms.
No author is named for this Psalm. Psalm 130 is one of the seven penitential psalms, the others being Psalm 6 (see notes), Psalm 32 (see notes), Psalm 38 (see notes), Psalm 51 (see notes), Psalm 102 (see notes) and Psalm 143 (see notes). Verses 3 and 4 point out the essence of God's forgiveness. Isn't it great that God doesn't keep a running tally? Our sins are forgiven each time we ask. I John 1:9 (see notes) says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Verses 7-8 sum it up, "Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner