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- His Presence
Protector of Those Who Trust in the LORD
Waltner, J. H. (2006).
Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
A steady, calm faith lies beneath this psalm about those who trust in the LORD (v. 1)
These trusting souls are as unshakable as Mount Zion (v. 1) because the LORD surrounds (enfolds, NEB) them with protective care as the mountains surround Jerusalem (v. 2).
Regarding its setting, Psalm 125 focuses on Jerusalem and concludes with petitions aimed at the establishment of peace.
Like Psalms 123 and 124, the people live under foreign domination.
The psalm could be a response to postexilic anxieties about whether God will honor the ancient promises of restoration.
For pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem, the psalm would speak of the LORD’s protective power.
The pilgrimage itself served as an enactment of trust.
Waltner, J. H. (2006).
Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
What Confidence do we have of the Lord’s presence and protection in our lives?
Expression of Confidence in the LORD’s Protection 125:1–3
The pilgrim psalms use picturesque figures of speech drawn from everyday life.
Here, those who trust in the LORD are likened to Mount Zion, the rock on which the temple was built (v. 1) [Zion].
Ancient traditions proclaim the stability of Zion, the mountain of God deeply rooted in the womb of the earth (Pss 46; 48; 78:68–69; 87:5; Isa 14:32).
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people with his protective power forevermore (v.
2; Ps 34:7; Zech 2:7–12).
That power even affects the situation of internal or external oppression symbolized by the scepter of wickedness (v.
The seductive inducement to apostasy is subject to God’s power.
The description of the land allotted to the righteous refers back to the time after the conquest when Joshua cast lots for dividing the land among the tribes (Num 26:55–56; Josh 18:6).
The land was a gift to those who had committed themselves to the LORD.
Stuhlmueller (1983, 2:164) calls attention to the careful nuances in verse 3: “Because the Lord is round about his people, THEN the scepter of the wicked shall not rest upon the land, AND SO the righteous will not put forth their hands to do wrong.”
However, we dare not base security on the relative stability of life’s circumstances.
Protection and peace are essentially matters of the spirit, not necessarily a deliverance from those who can kill the body.
Reflection on verse 3 of this psalm of trust is intriguing.
The people were under domination of a scepter of wickedness, under oppression cruel and prolonged.
Perhaps the danger was that the righteous might, through loss of faith and in desperation, be tempted to avenge themselves by wrong deeds.
They who confide in Jehovah are as mount Zion.
The present Psalm differs from the preceding in this—that while in the other it was said that the Church had been preserved by the power of God, without any human means, the Holy Spirit, in the one before us, teaches that in the time to come she shall always continue in perfect safety, because she is defended by the invincible power of God.
When the Church is emblematically described by the situation of the city of Jerusalem, the design of the Prophet is to encourage each of the faithful to believe, that the safety promised in common to all the chosen people belongs to him.
We now perceive the meaning of the Prophet, which is, that although the world is subject to so many and so sudden changes as almost to put on a new face every moment, and although the faithful are mingled with and placed in the same external condition as others, yet their safety continues steadfast under the invincible protection of God.
Not that they are permitted to dwell undisturbed and at ease; but because their safety being under the guardianship of God is assaulted in vain; at least they can never altogether fall, although they may stumble.
But let us notice that the word הבטחים, habbtechim, which signifies, those who hope or wait for, conveys an implicit injunction to steadfastness of faith.
Whoever, then, desires to be sustained by the hand of God, let him constantly lean upon it; and whoever would be defended by it, let him patiently repose himself under it.
When God suffers us to be often carried hither and thither, or driven about like chaff by the wind, this comes to pass through our own inconstancy—because we prefer fluttering in the air to fixing our minds on the rock of his help.
The similitude employed in the second verse is abundantly plain, teaching us, that as the continuous chain of mountains round about Jerusalem exhibits the appearance of walls, so God encompasses the faithful by his power, to ward off from them all harm.
Similar forms of expression are frequently to be met with in the Scriptures: God often promises to be a wall and a fore-wall to his people.
But David, or whoever was the author of the psalm, proceeds still farther, showing under the figure of mountains the secret protection with which God defends his own people, to the end that the ignorant and feeble-minded who are still held down to the earth by their own dulness of understanding, aided by the sight of the mountains, may raise their minds upwards to the conception and contemplation of heavenly things.
Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010).
Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol.
5, p. 91).
Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
How would you describe someone who trust in God.
Jerusalem appears frequently in the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120–134); this time it is an example of permanent security.
The psalmist calls God’s people to a righteousness characterized by trust in the LORD.
Those who trust become like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken (125:1), a strong statement in a land where earthquakes are not infrequent.
Jerusalem is located on a hill (just over 2400 feet) surrounded by other, higher hills.
In the same way, Yahweh himself surrounds His people.
The Hebrew word for eternity appears twice in 125:1–2 (forever [125:1]; forevermore [125:2]).
This emphasizes Jerusalem’s security but, more to the psalmist’s purposes, the security of the righteous.
Because this security is based not on Jerusalem but on Jerusalem’s God, it lasts forever.
Many commentators date this psalm to the post-exilic period because of the picture of foreign domination which they find in the phrase, scepter of the wicked (125:3).
This view falters on two counts.
First, Jerusalem is used in verses 1 and 2 as a metaphor for permanent security.
Post-exilic Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Babylonians and did not recover its former glory until long after this psalm was written, is not a good example of permanent security
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem; by which it was defended both from stormy winds and from the assaults of its enemies.
CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE
Contents: The security of God’s people because of His promises, and the jeopardy of the wicked.
Characters: God, Israel.
Conclusion: There is no gap in the hedge of God’s protection which He makes round about His trusting people.
The happiness of God’s people will be the vexation of those who perish in their wickedness.
Key Word: Security, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 1.
Ps 125 The security of the true believer is like the security of Mount Zion that is surrounded by mountains
The hills stand for stability, permanence and protection; but the psalmist doesn’t rely on them.
His protector is the One who made the hills!
The care which God gives to his people is for every individual at all times.
God never sleeps; his attention never wavers.
There is no circumstance which is beyond his control.
The Lord himself guarantees safety in every enterprise, for the whole of life.
And the cover starts now.
The psalm underscores (1) the protection of Yahweh (vv.
mountains were the symbol of all that was immovable and unchangeable.
To that rock-solid mount the pilgrims were making their way.
No storms of trial could shake it.
All around Jerusalem are higher hills.
This girdle of mountains to the psalmist was a ever-present symbol of Yahweh’s guardianship of his people.
Psalm 125 A mountain surrounded by mountains.
Those who trust God are as unmovable as a mountain (125:1) and are surrounded by the even greater mountains of the Lord’s presence (125:2).
With this assurance, the psalmist was sure that God would overcome all evil (125:3–5).
I. GOD’S DELIVERANCE (125:1–3)
A. The comparison (125:1) : Those who trust in God are as secure as Mount Zion.
B. The conclusion (125:2–3): As the mountains surround the city, so God surrounds the redeemed, keeping them from doing wrong.
Psalm 125 The Security of God’s People
A national lament, a pilgrim psalm
Note the comparison of the righteous person to a mountain (125:1).
Usually God is pictured that way.
The mountains literally surround Jerusalem (125:2).
To the north is Mount Moriah (2,425 feet high); to the east, the Mount of Olives (2,700 feet high); to the west, the Western Hill (2,550 feet high); and to the south, the so-called Mount of Evil Counsel where the local United Nations Head-quarters is presently located.
This is a picture of a believing community, finding security in trust (1, 2); a threatened community, patiently waiting till the Lord remove the burden of wicked rule (3); a
1–2 Trust makes us the living counterpart of the immovable Zion; the encircling mountains are a physical counterpart of the encircling Lord. 3 That trust includes faith in the Lord’s providential world-rule
A. Affirmation of security (125:1–3)
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