Like Mount Zion: Assurances for Those Who Trust in the Lord - Psalm 125
We live in a world that in large measure disregards the things of God. So much of what God has given us in the Scriptures is regarded by many as outdated or irrelevant for life in today’s world. And so, for those who are committed to trusting God and taking Him at His word, there can be a sense in which we feel like outsiders in this world. On some issues the church is being told we are on the wrong side of history, and if we aren’t careful we can start to doubt the things we’ve believed to be true.
Of course, we aren’t the first generation of God-followers to find ourselves living in a time and place where the ways of God are disregarded. In fact, this is the story of most of history – and it is for people in this kind of situation that Psalm 125 is written.
Psalm 125 is a psalm that is written for a people who are living under wicked rule – but here’s the encouragement: God will protect, keep and care for those who trust in Him. Psalm 125 is a psalm of assurance for those who trust in the Lord as well as an encouragement to persevere.
Assurances for those who trust in the Lord (125:1-3)
- Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion – Unmovable, forever (v. 1) – Mountains aren’t easily moved and throughout the Bible they are used as symbols of stability and strength. Mount Zion is the mountain where Jerusalem sits, and for the people of God this was the ultimate symbol of stability. The psalmist wants those who trust in the Lord to know that a position of trust is a position of stability. Those who trust in the Lord cannot be moved (Ps. 46:4-7; 1 Peter 2:4-10)
- Those who trust in the Lord are like Jerusalem – Fully guarded, forever (v. 2) – While Mount Zion is a high mountain, there are mountains around it that are taller; these mountains provided a natural barrier or guard around the city of God. The psalmist says that those who trust God are like Jerusalem, surrounded and guarded by God. He is our guard against the power of sin and Satan and the opposition of the world (Psalm 121:5-8; John 10:27-29).
- Those who trust in the Lord are protected – Evil will not rule forever (v. 3) – The psalmist is writing for a people who are living under wicked rulers, but the promise of God is that evil won’t rule forever. Those who live under this kind of rule may be tempted to follow the ways of those in power, but God will protect His people and ensure that they are not overcome (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
- Application – As people living in a world that is largely opposed to God the temptation is to start to believe that God shouldn’t be trusted; to believe that the ways of the world are more reasonable. Verses 1-3 serve to remind us that God keeps, guards and protects those who trust in Him and this reminder should encourage us to hold fast and persevere in trusting God (1 Corinthians 15:58).
A prayer for those who trust in the Lord (125:4)
- While the first three verses of the psalm are an encouragement and an assurance for those who trust God, verse 4 is a prayer that God would bless those who are striving to trust Him. “Those who are good” is a reference to those who trust in God and the psalmist is asking God to bless those who remain faithful in trusting Him. It’s a prayer for God to protect, preserve and provide for His people. (Romans 8:28).
- Application – This is a good prayer for us to pray for ourselves and for one another. The Bible regularly calls us to ask God to continue to show favor to His people in keeping with His promises.
A warning for those who don’t trust in the Lord (125:5a)
- While verse 4 is a prayer for the faithful, verse 5 is a warning for those who are tempted to forsake their trust in God. We know that no one who is truly God’s will ever be cast out, but there are many who for a time express trust, but who never truly believe. The psalmist warns that God will judge all those who fail to truly trust in Him (Mark 4:16-19; 1 John 2:15-17).
A prayer of blessing on the people of God (125:5b)
- The psalmist is writing for a people who are living in a hard situation and so he ends the psalm with a prayer of blessing for those who trust in God. He prays that God will give them peace. Peace is something that God gives to His people in in this life, but in eternity we will experience it in fullest measure (Psalm 122:6-9; John 14:27; Isaiah 26:3).