At first glance, Psalm 120 seems a strange psalm with which to begin this series, or even have in it, since it does not mention Jerusalem or even contain the thought of going there. Still, it is not inappropriate in this context, for it begins with the feelings of homesick people settled in a strange land and thus sets the tone for the joyful upward journey reflected in the psalms that follow.

These fifteen psalms (Psalms 120-134) seem to have been used by pilgrims who were making their way to Jerusalem for the three great annual feasts. Joseph and Mary would have sung these psalms as they made their way to the city with the young Jesus (Luke 2:41), and Jesus would have sung them himself when he went up to Jerusalem with his disciples. 

Christianity is a “long obedience” religion, and if we do not know that about it, we know very little about Christianity. In fact, if we are not in it for “the long haul,” we are not even Christians. 

In the last verses of Psalm 119, the psalmist lists what he lacks unless God is his shepherd. He is lacking in five areas, including understanding, salvation or deliverance, and the ability to worship God rightly, which we have already covered. In today's study, we conclude with points four and five. 

God has prescribed acceptable forms of worship for people in the New Testament age, too. We no longer worship in Jerusalem at the temple. It has been destroyed, and Jesus did say, “God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). But that does not mean that just anything goes. “In truth” must mean according to the revelation of God in the Bible.