Psalm 122 – The City of Peace 诗篇122 – 和平之城
Wednesday, 22nd March 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
The Name of Jerusalem means ‘the city of peace’. But we know from the history that Jerusalem has hardly been a city of peace. There have been many battles fought in Jerusalem. Yet, Israelites still come up to Jerusalem, to the Temple of God, three times a year. It is a difficult challenge for them, to put down their families and their work, go back to Jerusalem and to worship God. We are the followers of God, we know God provides, and are we willing to be like the Israelites, to follow God no matter what, to worship God in His Temple no matter what.
After the pandemic, it became more difficult for Christians to come to church, we are used to watching sermons online. But today God is talking to His people through Psalm 122, to come to the city of peace. Everyone wants to receive peace, we want to have peace in our family, our marriage, our church, our workplace, our city… but what does it mean to have peace? There will always been challenges and problems in life, in our relationships with others, but life does not work like that. So how can we receive this peace from God?
疫情过后，基督徒来教会越来越难了，我们习惯了在网上看讲道。但今天神通过诗篇 122 篇对祂的子民说话，要他们来到和平之城。每个人都想获得平安，我们希望在我们的家庭、我们的婚姻、我们的教会、我们的工作场所、我们的城市中拥有平安……但是拥有平安意味着什么？在生活中，在我们与他人的关系中，总会有挑战和问题，但生活并非如此。那么，我们如何才能从神那里得到这种平安呢？
Section One V1-2 We All Must Go Up 我们都要上去
V1 ‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”’ God has given us Jerusalem, God has prepared the peace for us, it’s not just for the pastors, it’s not just for the cell group leaders, but it’s for everyone. Everyone of us must go up to Jerusalem, and we will not be by ourselves when we go up to the Temple of God, because we will have company. We cannot stop gathering, we cannot stop coming to the House of God, but we must go together. When we stop going with our brothers and sisters, then our hearts will grow cold, and we will easy to backslide.
It’s much easier to stay in our home to pray, to worship, to read the Bible… so why do we come to church? Because this is God’s heart for us to encourage each other, to support each other, and on this path to Jerusalem, we will not feel alone.
V2 ‘Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!’ We must go together to Jerusalem, we are not just looking up to Jerusalem from the bottom of the mountain, but we will go up together with our brothers and sisters.
Section Two V3-5 Praise God in Unity 合一称赞
V3-4 ‘Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.’ When we come together, we are not talking gossip, we are not competing, but to seek unity. Jerusalem, the city of peace, was built in unity, by all the tribes of Israel. The Israelites laid down themselves, their differences, and came together to make David their king, and built the Temple of God.
V5 ‘For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.’ When we are in unity, then we can rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which protect us from the attack of the enemy. It’s not easy to have unity, it’s not easy to work together with others, because we often think that it’s faster and easier to get things done by ourselves. We don’t like to spend time teaching others and correcting others, but God wants us to humble ourselves, to have unity, and to stop being prideful, then God will be among us.
Section Three V6-9 Pray for Peace in the City 城内求平安
V6-7 ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.”’ God wants us to ask for peace in the city He has prepared for us. When we are willing to pray for peace of Jerusalem, then the prosperity will be with us. So often when we see our church, when we see our cell groups, when we see our brothers and sisters, we may see problems, but God wants us to pray for peace. We don’t come to church just to seek love, but we are also to love and to pray for peace. Jerusalem is not a peaceful city, and that’s why we must pray for peace, it’s not when we receive prosperity then we pray for peace, but when we first pray for peace then we will be prospered.
V8-9 ‘For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.’ We must believe that no matter if we are in the church or if we are in the cell group, God’s presence is with us, we must come with fear and trembling, to know that God is with us. If God is not with us then why do we come to church and why do we come to cell group? God is pleased with our heart to seek Him, when we wake up early in the morning to seek God, He will be pleased with us.
When we listen to the Word of God, when we listen to the teaching of our authority, when we stop doubting and simply follow, then God’s peace will be with us and be in our city. We are not here to judge our city but to pray for peace. God has gathered people to come to this city from all directions, from people’s lives we know God is real. We must believe God has prepared the city of peace for us, our church has the presence of God, and our lives has the prosperity of God.