Psalms of Ascents


IBC Brussels Summer 2018 | Jonathan Gemell, The Proclamation Trust UK

Songs are incredibly powerful.

We can remember words to songs that we have not heard for years.

Songs covey truths and meaning in a way that really resonates with us, in a way that makes the words go down deep into our very being. National anthems, pop songs, romantic ballads, golden oldies and many other songs besides, have the ability to move us.

Right in the centre of our Bibles is a song book. 150 Spirit-Inspired songs that God gives us in order that we might sing of Him and worship Him rightly. The Psalms are rich, real, relevant and remarkably profitable for us as we seek to live Christianly before a watching world.

Near the end of the book of Psalms is a collection of songs called the Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120-134). These fifteen psalms in the life of post-exillic Israel functioned like a Mixtape for the Journey Home. They would sing these as pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem for festivals and holy days. As they sang these songs they would be reminded of all God had done for them in the past, the great privilege it is to have Yahweh as their God in the present, and the sure and certain hope they had in Him on into the future.

These Psalms of Ascents are also so helpful to us. They give us songs to sing that remind us of God’s truths even across the wide range of human emotions, experiences and situations. They give us encouragement when we want to give up, hope when we can’t go on, a sense of home then we feel alone, and a dose of courage when we feel all at sea.

These Psalms of Ascents are songs that we can sing and as we do we will glean such help that we will never be the same again.

So over these 5 weeks, as we look at these 15 songs, may this album from the Psalter do us great good and bring lasting fruit to each of our live.

Why not try and read these Psalms over and over in the next month and learn to sing them well that they might do you the world of good as we study them together.

Sunday August 5 Songs for homesick hearts 
Psalms 120, 121 and 122

  1. Far from Home: Stress in a strife filled world. (Psalm 120)
  2. On the Way Home: Safety on a treacherous journey. (Psalm 121)
  3. Finally Home: Sanctuary forever with God and His People. (Psalm 122)


Sunday August 12 Songs for Determined Disciples 
Psalms 123, 124, 125


Sunday August 19 Songs for Weary Workers
Psalms 126, 127 & 128

Is it worth it?
Psalm 126 Waiting faithfully for God will yield a joyful harvest
Psalm 127 Working dependently on God will produce an eternal legacy
Psalm 128 Walking obediently with God will bring blessing now and forever


Sunday August 26 Songs for Struggling Saints
Psalms 129, 130, 131

Psalm 129 Hope in Affliction
Psalm 130 Hope beyond Iniquity
Psalm 131 Hope through Humility


Sunday September 2 Songs for the King and His People
Psalms 129, 130, 131

Psalm 132 God Dwelling with Us
Psalm 133 Us Dwelling Together
Psalm 134 Everyone Dwelling in Worship

Helpful resources when studying the Psalms:

  • Derek Kidner – 2 volumes of Tyndale Old Testament series
  • Philip Everson – 2 volumes in Welwyn series
  • Christopher Ash – Teaching Psalm vols. 1 & 2 PT Teaching
  • O. Palmer Robertson – The Flow of the Psalter
  • Gordon Wenham – The Psalter Reclaimed



Photo credit Bourguignon