Song of Repentance (Psalm 120)


September 13, 2020

Psalm 120


BIG IDEA (Sermon in a Sentence)

In our distress, we flee to Jesus as our deliverer.



  • Josh Moody, Journey of Joy

    • “Psalms say things we would rarely say out loud in church. But then, people feel things they would rarely say out-loud in church. We need somewhere to go to process those emotions, to inspect them in the light of God, and bring them into line with his will and his way.”
  • John Calvin
    • “The Psalms are an anatomy of all the parts of the soul, for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror.”
  • The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134) are a set of 15 songs that were sung by the Israelites as they journeyed from thier homes to Jerusalem 3x / year for festivals commanded by God in the book of Exodus.
  • Eugene Peterson, Long Obedience in the Same Direction
    • “But the ascent was not only literal, it was also a metaphor: the trip to Jerusalem acted out a life lived upward toward God, an existence that advanced from one level to another in developing maturity—what Paul described as “the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus” (Phil 3:14).



  • Literally a ‘closed or confined space’ – a feeling of being compressed, walls closing in.


  • Literally this refers to being slandered.
  • Eugene Peterson, ““Christian consciousness begins in the painful realization that what we had assumed was the truth is in fact a lie.” Prayer of desperation to God is immediately on our lips, “Deliver me from the liars. They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth!”
    • The world around us tells us lies that seek to bind our hearts and blind our eyes from seeing and savoring the truth about Jesus.



  • Verese 3 is speaking to the slanderer
  • Verse 4 seeks justice
    • Broom tree was often used for fire wood because the coals would remain hot for days after the fire went out.



  • I am a pilgrim in a broken world, pursuing a holy God but tangled up in lies.



  • The Psalms talk openly about emotions. Do you tend to put emotions in a category of ‘good’ or ‘bad?’ Why do you resopond the way you do to certain emotions?
  • Are you content being bound by the lies of this world or do you cry out for deliverance?
  • Verses 1 and 2 prays to be delievered from lies. What are the lies that most often have your ear? What lies do you struggle to recognize as lies?
  • What does it mean to flee to God? In what ways do you practice, or in what ways can you practice fleeing to God?


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