Psalm 122 - An Invitation To Worship The LORD

Our text for this morning is Psalm 122,

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, 4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! 7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” 8 For my brothers and companions' sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

This morning I wanted to preach from a passage that would help us to celebrate the fact that we are gathering together for the first time in sixteen months.

As you look at this psalm notice the superscription which is part of the original text of scripture. It says, ‘A Song of Ascents. By David.’

This psalm then is one of fourteen psalms (120-134) that have the superscription, ‘A Song of Ascents.’. Within these fourteen psalms: four are given authorship to David, Solomon has written one, and the rest do not list the author by name.

These Psalms were written to be sung by the people as they made the long journey to Jerusalem to attend the required feast days that were required by the Law. No doubt this journey was not always an easy journey to make; yet, the journey was made much more pleasant and exciting when it was motivated by the love for God which was begun and continued by the grace of God.

For example, this week little Genny came to church with her mother to help clean the church. They brought donuts into the office to eat but Genny would rather clean the church with her mom than enjoy delightful donuts anywhere else. Similarly, this journey to worship was not to be seen as a burden that had to be done to finally find God; rather, this psalm reminds us that God enables the journey by abundant gifts of His grace.

During COVID19 I found myself reading these songs of ascent and I came to really appreciate them. I have chosen Psalm 122 to celebrate this particular occasion today as we gather for the first time in one room. I bet we are all able to appreciate this Psalm more now because of the journey we have experienced over the last year and a half. The road that we have traveled has not always been easy has it. And yet, we have seen God’s faithfulness through it all.

Psalm 122 is a passage that reveals that David had a genuine and sincere faith. He was not simply a religious man, a pious individual, a devout disciple of Judaism. No, he loved the LORD, thanked God consistently for the grace and mercy he was given, and he rejoiced when he could go and worship the LORD at His Tabernacle. In this psalm David wants to cultivate these same things in the people of God as they come and worship the LORD throughout all generations.

Let’s begin by looking at Psalm 122:1-2 which says,

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!”

As we have previously discussed, this is a Psalm of David. As we all know, David was not a perfect person or a perfect king. He was a sinner who fell short of the glory of God. He broke God’s commandments and for a season he was slow in repenting for his sexual sin and the murder of Uriah. The Law of God declared him guilty and demanded His death.

David, like all of us, can only come to the LORD because of the grace of God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Law of God has condemned us all and we are silenced before the Holy One of Israel.

Yet, by faith in Christ Jesus’ redeeming work we have been saved from our sins, from the condemnation of those sins, fellowship with the LORD has been granted, and eternal life has been given.

Because of the grace of God, when someone says to us, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”, we do not need to shrink back in shame and condemnation. We do not need to hesitate in fear. We do not need to run and hide. No, rather we can come boldly to the throne of grace knowing that we have been cleansed and purified by the life, death and resurrection of Christ (Hebrews 4:16).

As a result of this grace we love the LORD (Luke 7:47), we are grateful and thankful for this grace and display it through obedience and through verbal testimony (Psalm 66:5), and when the invitation comes we are filled with Joy (Acts 3:1-9)!

Why should a believer shrink away from an invitation to worship? Christ could have shrunk back from the cross at any point. He could have easily let the cup of wrath pass by Him without drinking it; yet He partook of it and drank it completely. He was forsaken by the Father upon the cross so that we could be reconciled to Him.

That being the case, what is left to keep you from saying with David, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!'”? What sin, what transgression, or what iniquity can keep you from coming to Christ? Some men who are self-righteous falsely believe they are worthy by their own merits to come close to the LORD, but it is the undeserving who humble themselves before the LORD who actually find justification (Luke 18:9-14).

All need encouragement to come to the LORD at times. We sometimes need an invitation to go to the house of the LORD in worship. So let this psalm be a reminder to invite people to come and worship together. Let each person in every family decide today that they will excitedly invite the family to go and worship each week.