Friday, 30 September 2016
Psalm 122 - God has promised eternity with Him
Psalm 122:1-2 "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.' Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!" NKJV
So, here we are, beginning the 3rd of the 15 Psalms of Ascent. They all start with the Hebrew phrase Shir HaMa'alot meaning "Song of Ascents". This one starts differently. It adds the word L'David meaning this one is a Psalm of Ascents of David. Let's see why.
The Hebrew word samachti is first person past tense for sameach. Sameach is overjoyed, glad, beyond happy, delighted because there were people (we're never told who "those speakers" are) saying to me "we will walk" (to) God's house.
In verse 2, our feet are standing in Jerusalem's gates. They are not just the gates of Jerusalem, they are the gates that belong to Jerusalem. The verse is actually speaking to Jerusalem, calling the gates in the second person "your gates" Jerusalem.
All of us have a common destiny. It is a destiny of grace that is capably described in Galatians 4. The tension (contrast) is between works and grace. An age old revelation from Galatians 4:22 that Abraham had 2 sons. Ishmael is described as the son of works while Isaac is described as the son of grace. This is an allegory of the 2 covenants, grace and works.
This same lesson is taught through the two Jerusalem (whose name in Hebrew is expressed as exactly two). In Hebrew, it is pronounced Yerushalayim. The ayim is how we express exactly 2 of anything. The name of the city probably is from Yara (same root as Torah) meaning "teach" and Shalam meaning "complete". Put them together and we get a city named "complete teaching".
But there are two; one here and now (in bondage - works) and one from above (free) called the mother of us all. A "mother of all" city means that all have a citizenship (like a mother country) there. So our destiny is to live in grace. That's enough to make us deliriously happy.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,