A song of ascents
“Those who trust in Yahweh
Are like Mount Zion.
It cannot be moved.
It abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So Yahweh surrounds his people,
From this time on and forevermore.
The scepter of wickedness shall not rest
On the land allotted to the righteous.
Thus the righteous might not stretch out
Their hands to do wrong.
To those who are good!
To those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside
To their own crooked ways,
Yahweh will lead away with evildoers.
Peace be upon Israel!”
Psalm 125 is another of these short psalms or songs of pilgrimage on the way to ascending towards Jerusalem. They trusted in Yahweh, the way that they trusted in Mount Zion since it could not be moved and would last forever. Just as the mountains surrounded Jerusalem, so too Yahweh surrounds his people today and forevermore. Wickedness will not rest in the land of the righteous so that they will never do wrong. Yahweh was to do good to the good people. He was to be good to the righteous. However, those who follow the crooked ways would be led away with the evildoers. Peace or Shalom should be upon all Israel.
To the choirmaster, according to Lilies, a testimony of Asaph, a psalm
O shepherd of Israel!
You lead Joseph like a flock!
You are enthroned upon the cherubim!
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!
Stir up your might!
Come to save us!”
Psalm 80 is another choral psalm of Asaph, a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon, a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant. This psalm is set to the tune of the lilies, much like Psalm 45 and Psalm 69. This is an attempt of the northern tribes of Israel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh to have God come to their aid. Notice the importance of Joseph here. Remember that those northern Israel tribes were sent to captivity before the people in Jerusalem and Judah. This psalmist wanted the shepherd of Israel to listen and shine before the northern tribes. The God of Israel sat on the cherubim in the holy of holies. He wanted God to stir up his might and thus save them from their captivity.
Defend my cause
Against an ungodly people!
From those who are deceitful,
From those who are unjust,
You are the God
In whom I take refuge.
Why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
Because of the oppression of the enemy?”
Psalm 43, which was part of Psalm 42, has no title indications and is a very short psalm. The phrases and the themes are a continuation of the preceding psalm. The psalmist wanted to be vindicated. He wanted God to defend his cause against an ungodly people who were deceitful and unjust. He wanted to be rescued. He maintained that he took refuge in God. However, he still wondered why he was cast off. He was in mourning because of his oppressive enemy.