Step by Step

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Psalms of Ascent...I never knew what they were until 2008 when I picked up Beth Moore's Bible study, 
Stepping Up which travels through the fifteen Psalms that were sung as Jews would travel to Jerusalem for festivals.  In 2010, I went through her study again...this time watching the videos with a friend. Just this past month I decided to look through them again using a Bible study method from the book,Women of the Word. I was amazed to find that these psalms express a that I have been on before.

So take a moment...Pick up your Bible and read Psalms 120-134. It won't take long. I promise.

The title, Psalms of Ascent, is fitting. If you pay attention the first psalm starts low with a person calling out in distress. By the time you get to Psalm 134 all that is left is praise for God. So the one that started low doesn't feel that way in the end. So let's take a look at those two themes in this group of psalms: distress and praise. Today let's look at the distress and then come back tomorrow as we get to the good part: praising God for what He does for us in face of relational turmoil.

What is the common thread of distress? Look back is difficult people causing the turmoil...

Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. {120:2}

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. {120:6}

Have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. {123:3}

If the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive. {124:2}

They have greatly oppressed me from my youth. {129:2}

Ever lived among people that lie, hate peace, dish out contempt, and attack you? We ALL have! Seasons in our lives exist where we feel like we are wearing a target. The boss we don't get along with. The friend who gossips behind our backs. The family member turned monster in the moment. We can't escape it.  The problem with this world is that there are people in this world! Where people roam there will be sin and suffering at the hands of others.

So what to we do when faced with the inevitable? How do we cope with those that attack or mistreat? The answer lies in the very first psalm of ascent...the first sentence even, "I call on the Lord in my distress".  We call out to God. What does He do for us?

Well, you will have to come back tomorrow to find out. I have to admit I was DUMBFOUNDED when I started looking at all the ways God helps us when we face an enemy or at least someone who is temporarily acting like one. We have an amazing God!!

Ten Things God Does {Link will be live tomorrow.}

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