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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 122

Verses 1-9

PSALM 122

The joy of a godly man in view of the return to the house of the Lord, and the city of Jerusalem.

(vv. 1-2) The psalm opens with an expression of joy on the part of the psalmist on hearing the decision of the godly to journey together to the house of the Lord. In the confidence that the Lord is their keeper, as set forth in Psalm 121 , the remnant are emboldened to take the pilgrim way to the house of the Lord. The immediate effect of this decision is to fill their hearts with assurance. If the Lord will not suffer the feet of His saints to be moved ( Psa_121:3 ), they can boldly say, “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.”

(vv. 3-5) In the confidence of faith, the godly man is led to view Jerusalem - their journey's goal - not as it has been through the ages, but, as it will be according to the purpose of God. In the day of Nehemiah the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gates thereof burned with fire. Now, the godly man, looking beyond the ruin, sees it, not only building but “builded, as a city that is compact together.” No longer are there breaches in the wall.

Second, it is seen as the gathering place of the tribes of the Lord. None will be missing in the day of the coming glory.

Third, the universal gathering of the earthly people of God will become a testimony to Israel. At last they will be a true witness setting forth God's purpose to have a united people.

Fourth, when the earthly people of God are at last gathered together it will turn to the praise of the Lord. God is going to dwell in the midst of a praising people.

Lastly, when Israel are regathered, Jerusalem will not only be a centre of worship, it will be the seat of royal administration. Praise will ascend to Jehovah, and blessing will be dispensed to the people.

(v. 6) In contrast to Jerusalem according to the purpose of God, the centre of praise and blessing, the godly man thinks of the city in its present ruined condition, a centre of strife and sorrow through long ages. If the view of the city in its coming glory leads to praise, the view of the city in its ruin calls for prayer. Thus the psalmist can say, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” coupled with the assurance that they that love Jerusalem will prosper. To think with God about His people, to feel their sorrows, and pray for their peace, is the way to spiritual prosperity.

(vv. 7-9) The last three verses present the response to the call for prayer. At once the desire is awakened for the peace and prosperity of the city. The soul taught of God couples prosperity with peace. The divisions and contentions amongst the people of God have ever been a source of spiritual poverty and scattering. With the healing of the breaches and the restoration of peace, prosperity is assured.

Then, thinking of his brethren and companions, and their blessing, the godly man puts up the prayer, “Peace be within thee.” Finally the highest motive for his prayer is the good of the house of the Lord.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 122". "Smith's Writings". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-122.html. 1832.