David wrote fifteen Psalms of Degrees [ascents or steps] in preparation for the building of the temple by his son Solomon. Once the temple was dedicated these Psalms were sung by the Levitical choir as they stood on the fifteen steps leading into the temple courtyard. Each psalm represents a step closer to God in the Most Holy Place and spiritually these Psalms are about progressively drawing closer to God.
The fifteen semi-circular steps in the temple
In Psalms 120-124, there is constant reference to trouble and danger; Psalms 125-129 is about confidence in God; and Psalms 130-134, is about the development of a direct and close relationship with God
Initially many are humbled by distress and begin to cry out to God for deliverance
Psalm 120:1 In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. 120:2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
David in his distress seeks help and asks to be saved from deceit and lies. This refers to those false things said about him, and is also a request that God keep him free from committing this evil himself.
David asks how the tongue can be controlled; for it seems beyond control: and says that the wicked tongue will be destroyed.
120:3 What shall be given unto thee [deceitful tongue]? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? 120:4 [lying words are like] Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals [brands of juniper burning hot in a fire] of juniper.
David speaks of dwelling in Arabia [Meshek and Kedar] as a euphemism for being far from the Ark of God at Jerusalem.
120:5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
Sin separates people from God and godliness, causing people to dwell in a spiritual wilderness very far from peace with God.
120:6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace [right now the godly are strangers in this society, living among the wicked on this earth]. 120:7 I am for peace [godliness]: but when I speak, they are for war [rebellion against God].
The distressed may seek help from men and their own resources until they realize that their only hope of deliverance comes from God
Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
David looks all about him even to the far hills and sees that there is no help for the godly anywhere on the earth; therefore he seeks the help of the Almighty who saves his faithful, never resting from delivering those who live by every Word of God.
121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 121:6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
Ultimately, after the faithful are harvested from the grave by our Mighty Deliverer; the souls [lives] of the faithful will be preserved forever more.
121:7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 121:8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time [the resurrection to spirit and eternal life] forth, and even for evermore.
Distressed people will find relief and joy in sincere repentance and the deliverance of God
Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Going up to the house of the LORD is an allegory of sincere repentance and the wholehearted seeking of God to live by every Word of God.
122:2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 122:3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact [united] together:
Jerusalem where the Ark was moved in David’s day and where God had Solomon build the Temple, will be the capital city of the Mighty Redeemer the King of kings over all the earth in the near future.
Jerusalem was chosen by God as his city and the seat of the King of kings will be there: Going up to Jerusalem is an analogy of going to seek unity with God.
The tribes of Israel went up to Jerusalem to worship in ancient times, and very soon all nations will flow to Jerusalem to seek the Eternal and to learn his Word.
122:4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony [the Ark of the Covenant] of Israel, to give thanks [to worship] unto the name of the LORD.
When Messiah comes with his resurrected chosen David will again bring justice to Jerusalem, and Messiah will bring justice to the whole earth.
122:5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. 122:7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. 122:8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
122:9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
When Jesus Christ comes he will build the Ezekiel Temple and Christ will dwell and rule from Jerusalem, and all nations shall flow to Jerusalem year by year to keep the Feasts of the LORD (Zec 14:16)! Then God’s Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) and all people will serve the LORD with wholehearted zeal to live by every Word of God!
Those who have been delivered by the Might of God, will look to him and put their trust in him forever
Psalm 123:1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
The faithful look up to God in awe and wonder like a maid looks up to her mistress and a young child its parents.
123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
123:3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. 123:4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
Those who are passionately faithful to live by every Word of God are despised and held in contempt by the wicked because of our love for God and his Word.
Therefore our God will have mercy upon us and he will reward those who are faithful in this life with a double reward; to lead and help bring in the latter day main harvest of humanity.
Isaiah 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
The resurrected of the early harvest will have a double portion; because of the persecution that they have endured.
61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
Jesus Christ loves fairness, justice and the sound judgment of the whole Word of God; he hates spiritual extortion of offerings by the ministry. The people should give offerings as they can afford and as they have been blessed, not because they are talked into giving more than they can afford.
God will direct the work of the zealous for his Word in the truth of the whole Word of God. The New Covenant of marriage between Jesus Christ and his resurrected chosen is an everlasting Covenant (Jer 31); but the unrepentant wicked will be cast into the fire.
61:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Repentant physical Israel will be blessed and a repentant and zealous spiritual Israel shall be greatly blessed; but the unrepentant shall pass into nothingness.
61:9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
The whole Word of God with all its teachings [doctrine] and wisdom is beautiful!
61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation [which are the learning and living by every Word of God], he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Gratitude to God for his deliverance
Psalm 124:1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; 124:2 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: 124:3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: 124:4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: 124:5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
God is on our side when we are on his side to follow him and to live by every Word of God.
David speaking of the Red Sea says that it was Almighty God who delivered Israel in a way that no man could. God’s deliverance out of the Red Sea is symbolic of God’s deliverance out of the grave for all those who faithfully follow him and live by every Word of God!
124:6 Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. 124:7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
God delivered physical Israel from bondage in Egypt and saved them from the Egyptians and the waters of the Red Sea: Blessed is the LORD God who saves his faithful from bondage to Satan and sin, and delivers them from death out of the mouth of the grave!
124:8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Be always faithful to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth (Rev 14:4) and to live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4); for God alone can save mankind from death and the grave, and resurrect the sincerely repentant in the harvest to eternal life!
A declaration of absolute trust in God to live by every Word of God, and confidence that those who do so will remain unmoved forever
Psalm 125:1 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
All those who put their trust in the Eternal to live by every Word of God will be raised from the grave in the resurrection harvest to spirit and they will live in God’s righteousness forever.
125:2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
God will forever surround his resurrected to spirit faithful, and he will be their defense; and the wicked will never again vex them. True righteousness is to live by every Word of God and God’s faithful chosen will never again put their hand to iniquity but will be wholeheartedly faithful forever.
125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest [strike against] upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
God will bless all those who live by every Word of God and God will harvest them into eternal life and he will do good to them for all eternity.
125:4 Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.
But all those who do wickedly and refuse to live by every Word of God, who follow evil and false ways and refuse to sincerely repent; will receive the reward of the sinful in the second death in the fire of damnation.
125:5 As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth [to destruction] with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.
The sincerely repentant of all nations will have peace with God and they will be grafted into a spiritual Israel (Jer 31:31).
Those who are full of the righteousness of God, which is to wholeheartedly live by every Word of God and to faithfully follow the Lamb; will be raised to spirit and eternal life to live and be blessed forever more!
An expression of awe and wonder at God’s deliverance
Psalm 126:1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
When Messiah resurrects God’s faithful from the dead and then comes with them to deliver the remaining people; the events will be so awesome that the reality of the incredible deliverance will seem like a dream!!
Then when these overwhelming events are understood the people will break forth in spontaneous irrepressible rejoicing at the marvelous mighty deeds of God, the Awesome Rock of Salvation.
126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
God delivered physical Israel from captivity in Egypt and God will deliver humanity in these latter days with mighty deeds, delivering mankind from the captivity of bondage to Satan, sin and ultimately [in each person’s proper time] from the grave itself!
Our God is awesome and MIGHTY TO SAVE!
Psalm 126:4 Turn again our captivity [deliver us], O LORD, as [bring us to flow out of captivity like waters flow in the streams] the streams in the south.
126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Then he that sows in the sorrow of deep repentance over sin, shall reap the abundant blessings of the LORD with great rejoicing; and the sowing of the Word will bring forth abundant spiritual fruit in the harvests of mankind into the family of the LORD.
Everything that we do physically is transitory and temporary because all physical things will perish; the only lasting permanent things are the Word of God and godliness which will last forever.
Therefore nothing that we build physically will long endure; but if we build the nature of God in us through a passionate diligent internalizing and keeping of the Word of God, we shall become a spiritual house of God that will last forever!
Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows [to be over concerned about physical things]: for so he giveth his beloved sleep [God’s faithful can rest from cares because they are at peace with the God who is able to give eternal life].
The LORD is building an eternal spiritual House [Temple] in his people for the Spirit of God to reside in forever.
2 Corinthians 6:16 and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
That spiritual House is the House that will last forever, while all physical houses will decay and fall over time.
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 127:4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Many loyal children make for a strong and powerful family. The spiritual harvests pictured by the Biblical Festivals reveal that God the Father will ultimately resurrect billions of faithful children into his spirit family.
A declaration that all those who live by every Word of God will be blessed forever
Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways [all those who live by every Word of God]. 128:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands [God’s faithful will receive the gift of eternal life for enduring all things and growing in godliness.]: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
We may be tested and we may suffer in this life, but if we overcome all adversity and make living by every Word of God our chief delight; we shall receive the reward of our labors and we will be resurrected to spirit and many eternal blessings.
128:3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants [full of the oil of God’s Spirit] round about thy table.
128:4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. 128:5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem [the New Jerusalem where God the Father will dwell] all the days of thy life [which will be eternal]. 128:6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children [Being given eternal life, those who live by every Word of God shall see their children’s children and their descendants as well; indeed we shall see our father’s fathers as they are resurrected in the harvests of the LORD.], and peace upon Israel.
All nations will be grafted into spiritual Israel, and they will all be at peace with God and with one another.
James 1:2-8 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting [lacking nothing spiritually] nothing.
God uses various tools to correct and mold us so that we may become like him
Psalm 129:1 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: 129:2 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
God has allowed physical Israel to be corrected and they have and will suffer at the hands of their enemies to teach us to be faithful to God, but in the end God will deliver his repentant people and cut the cords of bondage to our adversaries.
Then the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 11 will come in all its fullness; and all Israel [and all Gentiles who will be grafted into the New Covenant Israel] shall be saved.
Spiritually throughout the past six thousand years God has called out a kind of spiritual Israel and they have been tested and have often cruelly suffered for their zeal to live by every Word of God. At the resurrection to spirit Messiah the Christ will cut the cords of persecution and death, and will deliver his faithful from the Adversary and from the very grave itself. He will then extend the New Covenant to all humanity, pouring out God’s Spirit in all flesh (Joel 2:28).
129:3 The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.
A bold metaphor for cruel maltreatment; the persecuted are thrown prostrate upon the ground, while the merciless foe drives the plough over them chopping them up. The use of the metaphor may be intended to suggest the thought of a slave’s back torn by the lash (Isaiah 50:6). The sense is that: They threw me down and trod me under foot, and cruelly wounded, mangled, and tormented me.
129:4 The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords [God has broken the cords of our bondage to sin and to the Adversary] of the wicked.
129:5 Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. 129:6 Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: 129:7 Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. 129:8 Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.
The Adversary himself will finally be judged and destroyed on a future Day of Atonement, and ultimately all the unrepentant wicked will also perish in the second death.
A Psalm of Repentance; read on the Day of Atonement by the early Ekklesia
Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
David cries out in repentance out of the depth of his despair over sin, as an example for us that we should also sincerely repent and wholeheartedly turn to the Eternal.
130:2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Let us all sincerely repent and seek our God with all of our hearts, let us all beg our merciful LORD to remember our sins no more and to forgive us so that we may serve him and live by his every Word from henceforth and forever more!
130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 130:6 My soul waiteth [longs] for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Let us sincerely repent and long for the Eternal’s merciful redemption; so that we may serve him with wholehearted diligence, now and forever more!
130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. 130:8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Messiah has paid the penalty for our iniquity with his own life as the Lamb of God; redeeming the sincerely repentant who fully commit to: “go and sin no more” (John 8:11, and “to live by every Word of God” (Matthew 4:4).
The godly are humble before God their Father hungering and thirsting to learn the wisdom of godliness
Psalm 131:1 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
Those who are humble before God, who have quieted the spirit of self-will in sincere repentance, will receive mercy. The proud and self-willed will be corrected and humbled to contrition and their pride in their own ways will be crushed to powder.
131:2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
A child is weaned from its mother never to return to her breast again; so the proud and self-willed lovers of their own ways who exalt idols of men will be weaned from their pride and self-will never again to return to that error.
131:3 Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.
When our pride in our own ways, false traditions and idols of men is crushed to powder; we will turn to put our trust in the LORD forever and ever more!
A prophecy of blessings for God’s faithful
David asks God to remember him for his zeal for God’s House and his dedication to live by every Word of God. Yes, David sinned, but whenever he found himself in sin he Sincerely Repented and STOPPED sinning!
We are to also STOP sinning and we must never justify ourselves or use excuses to continue in our sin.
Psalm 132:1 Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions: 132:2 How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; 132:3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 132:4 I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, 132:5 Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
This speaks of seeking the Eternal and the things of God with all our hearts, to build ourselves into a fitting Temple for God’s Spirit by internalizing the very nature of God through living by every Word of God.
132:6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. 132:7 We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. 132:8 Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.
Let the priests [especially the New Covenant called out] and children of God be faithful, clothed with the righteousness of living by every Word of God; let them rejoice in the LORD forever more!
132:9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.
132:10 For thy servant David’s sake turn not away [do not reject] the face of thine anointed.
God promised David that his children will also rule. Spiritually, just as people of faith and the works of faith are the children of Abraham (Gal 3:7), the sincerely repentant who are people after God’s own heart are the spiritual children of David.
132:11 The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 132:12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children [The spiritual children of David, chosen of the first general resurrection will rule the nations as kings and priests Rev 1:6 and 5:10.] shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.
This is a promise that those who faithfully live by every Word of God will live forever.
God Chooses Jerusalem
132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
David will be raised up and he will rule a once again united Israel forever, because of his continual repentance and love to live by every Word of God.
132:17 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 132:18 His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
Those who make it their life’s work to live by every Word of God, internalizing the very nature of God, shall be at one in complete unity with God forever; and they shall be anointed with the oil [the Holy Spirit] of eternal life
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head [the priestly anointing oil representing the Holy Spirit], that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
This speaks of unity with God and every person who is fully united with God is also united with all other persons who are fully united with God; and they will receive the gift of eternal life.
Those who turn away from unity with God for unity with others, will not receive the gift of eternal life.
The godly who have the courage to take a stand and to live by every Word of God even if that means being ostracized by others, are the people who will receive eternal life for their love of God.
133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Compromising with the Word of God for supposed organizational unity brings damnation. Yes. God is the author of division between good and evil, and between those who truly serve him and those who do not live by every Word of God.
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
God our Creator and Deliverer; is worthy of praise forever more
While the afternoon “Hour of Prayer” began the preparations for the evening sacrifice and the evening sacrifice was killed and prepared before the sun set, it was not offered [burned on the altar] until sunset.
Psalm 134:1 Behold, bless [Serve, Obey and Glorify] ye the LORD [YHVH], all ye servants of the LORD, which by night [offering the evening sacrifice immediately after sunset] stand in the house of the LORD [offering the evening sacrifice immediately after sunset]. 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
God will bless all those that faithfully serve him and live by every Word of God.
134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee [God will bless all his faithful who live by every Word of God to Serve, Please, Praise and Glorify HIM with the works of faith!] out of Zion.
God our Creator and Deliverer; is worthy of praise forever more
While the “Hour of Prayer” began the preparations for the evening sacrifice in the afternoon, the evening sacrifice was killed and prepared before the sun set, but was not offered [burned on the altar] until sunset.
Psalm 134:1 Behold, bless [Serve, Obey and Glorify] ye the LORD [YHVH], all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD [offering the evening sacrifice]. 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
God will bless all those that faithfully serve him and live by every Word of God
134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee [God will bless all his faithful who live by every Word of God to Serve, Please, Praise and Glorify HIM with the works of faith!] out of Zion.