This psalm is titled A Song of Ascents. It is another of the 15 songs that was sung by travelers on their way to Jerusalem, usually for one of the three yearly feasts. In ancient times, since the pilgrim journeys to Israel were often made as families, this psalm has a focus on God’s work in and through the family.
The psalmist prayed for God’s blessing and peace for Jerusalem. For the ancient Israelites, the holy city represented God’s dwelling place who desired that the faithful would live long enough to see God’s favor upon His people and land throughout the generations. This prayer is not only for the Israelites of old, but for all who belong to God’s kingdom. Our heavenly dwelling place is far more glorious than any place on this earthly land, for we are promised in Christ to experience the fullness of God’s eternal and abundant blessing.
During this time of the dual crisis of Covid-19 and racial tension, I hear some parents expressing parenting burnout. Many parents might be worried about losing their job or not having food on the table besides managing their children 24/7. I also have my up and down moments raising two teenagers. But happiness is not determined by one’s physical or financial condition but by one’s spiritual condition. A parent’s responsibility is to raise children in the knowledge and fear (reverence or respect) of God. It is one thing to talk about God on Sunday morning, but it does not mean anything if a person is not living in the word of God the rest of the week. Parents are stewards whom God has entrusted with the precious gift of children, and God takes a vested interest in His people passing on their faith to their offspring. All Christians are called to be “spiritual parents” to all children in the family of faith by means of the baptismal promises made. All of us can bless the lives of others—pray that God will lead you in doing that!
The Psalm says that those who fear the Lord and walk in obedience to His ways are promised the blessing and prosperity of the holy city! The peace and well-being of our families, church family, community and world depends upon the Lord our God who is full of love, grace and blessing!