Psalms 135,136&146


Tradition tells us that these Psalms were sung by the Priest and the congregation at the end of the Feast of Booths. The Feast of Booths was the last Feast of the year so these Psalms served as a reminder of what God has done and how much He has blessed the people. So they serve as a blessing to all who attended the Feast.  Tradition, and the placement of these Psalms in the book of Psalms, tells us they were sung at the Feast of Booths that first year after the Temple has been rebuilt after the exile. The Temple was completed 89 years after the first invasion of Nebuchadnezzar and 20 years after the people were allowed to return and rebuild the Temple. Rebuilding the Temple had been a long hard process.

I grow and sell produce in a farm stand on our little 3 acre farm. I enjoy working in the soil, watching plants grow, and interacting with the customers. I have learned much about God’s laws of science, life, work, discipline, planning, and administration, etc. Farming is the hardest work I have ever done and because of that I have learned the value of things. I often joke that when I go to buy something I do not pay attention to the price marked on the item. I put a harvest value on it because I know how many beans or ears of corn I have to pick in order to purchase the item.

I believe these Psalms reflect the true value the people put on their relationship with the Lord. They know how long they have gone without the Temple where they could come and worship the Lord. They also knew the work and challenges they went through in order to rebuild the Temple. All that effort, both emotional and physical, places an unseen value on the Temple for each person.

The same is true for each of us. In Luke 7:36-50 a Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner. There was a woman there who had many sins. She wept at His feet washing them with her tears and anointing His feet with perfume. Using her as an illustration Jesus told the Pharisee a parable about the value of forgiveness we all have received from God through His Son Christ Jesus. Although the price paid for forgiveness is the same for each of us, the value one places on forgiveness differs from one person to another based on the realization of what God has done and the understanding and helplessness of the recipient to save themselves. Obviously, as Jesus makes clear in this passage, this can be dangerous to the health of our relationship with God.

What value have we placed on our salvation? I admit when I was first saved I thought that I really didn’t have a testimony worth sharing because I lived a fairly “normal” life, but like Jesus and the Pharisee in this story, He has shown me that my sins are many and I was in desperate need for His mercy and forgiveness. For that I am eternally grateful. Like the people coming out of their booths and taking up their homes in the promised land,  I have been given the hope of dwelling with my Lord in the Land of Promise as a child of God, and in that I place the greatest and highest value.

Give thanks to the Lord for His loving-kindness is ever lasting!

Pastor Dave