Saturday: Psalms 121-123 & Deuteronomy 16.1-20

From Jason Hood

Psalm 121: Where does my help come from? Does it come from the multitude of pills and programs on offer in a modern world? Does it come from Oprah and self-help? Ultimately help is found in a personal, intimate relationship with a God who never sleeps nor slumbers and can never be surprised at what is happening to us in our life.

Psalm 122: The Psalmist begins by noting that it cheers his heart when his companions suggest a trip to God's presence. What is Jerusalem like? A city where the whole family finds praise, justice, and a king. The city (now found in God's church, the heavenly community of the New Jerusalem) needs peace and safety--to be guarded from corruption and disruption, so that her citizens may flourish.

Psalm 123: In this Psalm we learn about the appropriate posture for petitioners coming before the King of the Universe. Like a slave totally dependent on a master for provision and mercy, we look to God until he shows us mercy, because we'll often find that ridicule and contempt is what we get from the world around us. And God, being a far greater and more merciful master, delights to show mercy to his servants--particularly when they acknowledge their great need for his mercy!

Deuteronomy 16.1-20: God gives his people guidance for celebrating the Passover, keeping two other feasts, and establishing judges and officials for the maintenance of justice in Israel. God wants his people worshiping him in his way, which leads to joy (16:11, 15) and generosity (16:16-17). The joy of worship is community-building, as it should extend to sojourners, fatherless, and widows in Israel (16:11, 14).