Psalms 120-134 are called “ascent” Psalms. This is defined as songs or psalms the people sang as they ascended to the Temple Mount. “Lifting their eyes to the hills” – this would mean as they ascended Mount Moriah, they would sing to the LORD. Mount Moriah is the mountain that Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed, and was spared by God with a ram sheep. It is also the future place that Jesus the Son of God walked up carrying the Cross – we know this as Calvary’s mountain. Here there was no sparing of Jesus by the Father, for Jesus was/is the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world.
The Jews were required to ascend to Jerusalem three times a year for the Feast of the Tabernacles [booths], the Feast of the Passover/Leavened Bread and the Pentecost. Obviously, the Temple during this time had to be the Temple of Solomon [David didn’t write all the Psalms, those Psalms 1-72, comprise his, other writers did the others]; or the Tabernacle which had been returned to Jerusalem by David in 2 Samuel. Regardless of the actual Temple; the Jews were to ascend up the Mount to worship the LORD God.
When I think of lifting “My eyes towards the hills” it causes me to think of how much time I look down on the ground. I am a penny picker upper. That means I find plenty of pennies because I look down a lot. The Psalms 120-124; have challenged me to lift up my eyes to the Lord more. Looking down really denotes my down trodden approach to my day. There is enough negativity in our society right now to make one hang their heads in disgust and defeat. Too much of the time we forget about our Lord God being on His throne and that He is working out His plan for our lives and the world we live in. Singing is good for the soul; looking up is good for the countenance. I like to look at stars at night; it overwhelms me to see the vast array of stars glistening in the night, and I am humbled that the God of the Universe and of all creation is even aware that I exist!
Singing is great for my demeanor, now I don’t sing well; but I like to sing. As Israel climbed up the steps to the Temple, they sang, you have to look upwards to climb the steps, lifting our heads and eyes symbolically to the Lord who we are going to worship. I take this to mean, get our focus right. Too many people rush into churches and expect to instantly be ready to worship – that doesn’t happen for me, and I’m sure doesn’t happen for most. My/our worship takes preparation of the soul and mind. To get into the frame of mind to worship.
“I was glad when the said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” I have heard that phrase so many times – We are going to the House of the LORD – He is on His throne, we are going there to come into His presence. We enter His gates with praise; we sing to Him a new song; our whole point of going in giving praise to the Lord. This point is missed today by a lot of churches and believers – we go to the house of the LORD for HIM; not for our pleasures. Consumer mentality in churches today is foreign from what God intended our “corporate worship” to be.
Our songs, our spirit our lives are to be “lifted up” to the Lord in worship. The trek to the top of Mount Moriah took some time; during that walk to the Lord’s House was meant to be a time of preparation. Look up – quit looking and thinking on the things of this world; refocus our thoughts and eyes on the LORD. Be prepared to meet the LORD God in His Sanctuary. I am sure that there were plenty of times that Israel /Jews went to the Temple our of ritual and routine – but the still went. Some of the most blessed times I have had in worship was when I really didn’t want to go – go anyway – meet the Lord in His House!