A reflection on Psalm 125:1
In the Bible, Psalms 120 to134 are listed as songs of ascents. In them, the pilgrim tries to recall how God delivered His people, Israel, from captivity in Babylon and by His mercy after their exile returned them to Zion; God’s Own City. Therefore, Psalm 125:1 falls under the Psalms of Ascent and through it, the Psalmist would like the believer to ponder over these four cardinal issues.
Firstly, he says “those that put their trust in the Lord.” For him, it is important that man, who is a creature of God, should in all things trust the Lord. The trust that is required of him is that of a simple faith in the Lord. However, the Bible is unhappy with those that trust in fellowmen or in themselves. Listen to what Jeremiah says: “Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord,”Jer. 17:5. He is so condemned, because man is not his maker and cannot do much to better his condition. Indeed, man should trust in the Lord, no matter what happens or what he/she may be going through. So, the Bible admonishes: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5. Remember, our God is worthy of our trust. The Psalmist beckons on us: “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good,” Psalm 38:8.
Secondly, he says: “Those who trust the Lord are compared like Mount Zion.” One would begin to wonder how our God is compared to a thing like a mountain. The topography of a mountain near Zion suggests stability, security and protection. Impliedly, every attempt to attack Zion, the City of God, from any angle, based on this description, will be very difficult. Zion is surrounded by mountain and as the world endures, this natural endowment makes it not only difficult, but also impervious by the enemy. Therefore, the same way Zion is protected, God also becomes the believer’s stability, security and protection from would-be enemies. What a healthy comparison. Remember, God’s love surrounds His people, as “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8). This, therefore, should re-awaken the zeal of the worshipper not to fear, as God is cannot be overrun by the enemy. Any trust in Him provides victory and this should be the portion of every child of God. Please, seek to have it.
Thirdly, “He cannot be moved or shaken.” It is true we have storms, difficulties, challenges and hardships in life. But the believer is not to be moved or shaken in faith. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ conquered sin through His death on the Cross of Calvary and by His resurrection gave believers victory. Therefore, as we live our lives in this earthly journey, we should not be shaken or moved, because God’s agenda, even if it is tampered with by the devil, cannot ultimately be destroyed. St. Paul, aware of this, therefore, encourages the believer: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans. 8:38-39). Impliedly, it is the duty of the Christian to continue to trust God and remain immoveable and unshakeable in faith. The words of the Hymn writer in Church Hymnal 770 Stanza 1 is very helpful here:
Courage Brother do not stumble,
Though thy path be dark as night,
here’s a star to guide the humble,
Trust in God and do the right.
The fourth says, “Abides forever,” other version may say, “endures forever.” This is a great assurance to the believer, as long as, he puts his trust in the Lord, he is not only like mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. His trust will carry him both in the world present and the world to come – in the eternity. Jesus’ promise is real “… I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen”, (Matt. 28:20).
Therefore, we should not allow the present hardship or changes or chances of life to tamper with our trust in God. So, whether there is recession or rumours of war or unemployment, name them, what I know is that those who put their trust in the Lord will never be shaken and Christ’s presence in their lives will always guarantee victory. It is my humble prayer that today God’s people will queue in and be beneficiaries from this God of Zion. Please, join the Hymn writer to sing joyfully:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
• Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.