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little girl dressing for church September 22 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Psalms 121, 122, 123, 128, 130, 134, 135, and 136

Songs to Sing on the Way to Church

Sunday morning can be the most stressful morning of the week for many Christians. It is the day when we get ready for church. That is usually where our stress comes from - getting ready for church. Though in many churches dress is casual, in others it is more formal. Dresses and suits need to be found and pressed, hair needs to be done, and someone is always hogging the bathroom. Staying up too late on Saturday night often compounds the stress of that morning. We are tired and our nerves are frayed. Who feels like singing on the way to church? But if we prepare on Saturday, as much as possible, go to bed at a reasonable hour, and get up a little earlier, we may feel more like worshipping. Singing on the way to church gets us in the mood for worship.

In today’s reading are songs of ascents - songs of worship the Israelites sang on their way up to Jerusalem for their annual and seasonal feasts. Jerusalem was on the highest hill of Israel; everywhere else in the area was lower in elevation.

We are not sure of the date of these Psalms, but we can be sure that, although many may not have been written at this time, they were at least sung at this time (and possibly previous festal gatherings). Around 444 B.C. more than 50,000 Jews in Jerusalem, who had returned from exile, gathered to celebrate the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. The Levites and singers led them in worship in Jerusalem, but on the way up the people probably sang these and other songs of ascention.

Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth,” (NIV). The rest of the Psalm extols the loving watch care of the LORD. God had been watching over Israel as they were rebuilding the city walls, and in just fifty-two days the Lord helped them complete the task. Where does our help come from? We can entrust our soul to Almighty God. Like Israel, if we seek to do the Lord’s will, he will watch over us and help us.

A house of God should be a place of peace. In Psalm 122 the psalmist exhorts the Israelites to come gladly to the house of God in Jerusalem and to pray for peace within its walls. What is our attitude about coming to church? Do we seek to make it a place of peace and worship so that we will gladly come? Disputes between family or church members are best settled before Sunday.

Psalm 123 encourages the worshippers to look to God, seeking direction that they might obey, for their enemies were ridiculing them. Do we seek direction from the LORD when we come to church? Seeking help from God on Sunday will help us face life's challenges on Monday.

Psalm 128 extols the value of fearing (reverencing) the LORD and walking in his ways. If we do that his blessings will be on our family.

Psalm 130 reminds Jerusalem that God is a forgiving God. They and we can place our faith and hope in Him (more...). If we wait patiently for Him, he will deliver us as he did the Israelites.

Psalm 134 and Psalm 135 encouraged the priests and Levites to praise the LORD. They were the ministers of the LORD who served in the tabernacle (portable worship center) and in Solomon’s temple. They were to inspire their congregation of worshippers to praise the LORD by rehearsing his great works. The same principle could be applied to the ministers in today’s churches.

Psalm 136 exhorts Israel to give thanks to the LORD. They and we should give thanks for everything, but we should especially remember that what he does for us demonstrates that “his love endures forever, ” the greatest of these is our salvation (more...). Let us not take the LORD for granted. Let us be ever grateful for his favors.

Lessons to live by:

  • Prepare yourself for a peaceful worship day: do not overwhelm your schedule, prepare meals and clothing early, settle your conflicts, and get plenty of sleep on Saturday.
  • God watches over the righteous and helps them. Do you know him? (more...)
  • Seeking help from God on Sunday will help us face life's challenges on Monday.
  • If we live in fear (reverence) for our LORD, he will bless our family.
  • God is a forgiving God,
  • Spiritual leaders should rehearse God’s great works to set the atmosphere for worship.
  • What God does for us demonstrates that his love endures.
  • Singing on the way to church puts us in the mood for worship.

Today’s Bible memory verse: Psalm 98:1 “A psalm. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.” (NIV)

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