Summary: The peace of Jerusalem is tied up with the house of the Lord.


Psalm 122

The “house of the LORD” encompasses this Psalm (Psalm 122:1; Psalm 122:9). Jerusalem, in turn, encompassed the house of the LORD (Psalm 122:2; Psalm 122:3; Psalm 122:7). Jerusalem thus became the place of pilgrimage and thanksgiving (Psalm 122:4).

“Jerusalem” also represents the place of right judgment (Psalm 122:5; Isaiah 2:4). At times in her history she failed miserably in this respect, and hence the exile became inevitable - but when Nehemiah became Governor the city walls were rebuilt (Nehemiah 2:15-18). However, when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem He again found cause to lament, and the cycle of history was repeated (Luke 19:42-44).

There is a play on the word “house” (Psalm 122:5), such as we see also in 2 Samuel 7:5; 2 Samuel 7:10-11. The “house of David” represents his dynasty, reaching all the way down to Jesus. The “thrones of judgment” are “the thrones of the house of David” - and reach down to Jesus’ climactic judgment at the end of time.

We “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). We pray for the peace which flows from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3) - ‘peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1). We pray for the salvation of Israel.

To the Jews, says Paul, were committed ‘the oracles of God’ (Romans 3:2). The Israelites, according to the Apostle, are those to whom pertains ‘the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as pertaining to the flesh Christ came’ (Romans 9:4-5). The Apostle to the Gentiles goes on to declare that Israel is still of some accountability in the purposes of God (cf. Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15; Romans 11:25-27).

Those who love Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), and pray for her peace and prosperity (Psalm 122:7), shall themselves prosper (Psalm 122:6). This takes us back to the promise to Abraham: ‘I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curses thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’ (Genesis 12:3). For the sake of our spiritual kinsfolk (both Jew and non-Jew) - and on behalf of our companions in the pilgrimage towards ‘the Jerusalem which is above’ (Galatians 4:26) - we invoke God’s blessing of peace upon Jerusalem (Psalm 122:8).

As we have indicated, Jerusalem’s good is tied up with “the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:9) - ‘whose house are we’ (Hebrews 3:6). Let us never forget what we owe Israel, for (as Jesus said to the woman at the well), ‘salvation is of the Jews’ (John 4:22). ‘Boast not against the branches,’ adds the Apostle to the Gentiles: ‘be not high-minded, but fear’ (Romans 11:18; Romans 11:20).

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