How We Get from Exile to a Restored Jerusalem

How We Get from Exile to a Restored Jerusalem

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord . . . (Psalm 127:3)

So Israel is in exile, but there is hope. Our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us (Psalm 123:2). These are the "Songs of Ascents" after all. Israel is coming up out of her captivity. We are headed to a restored Jerusalem.

From exile to a restored Jerusalem. We've seen this idea by the time we come to Psalm 127 and now it get's a little clearer. Exactly how is this movement going to happen? How will we go from here to there?

Let's talk about children.

This moving from here to there is only going to happen if the Lord himself does it. All our waiting is vain unless he shows up. And children are a heritage from the Lord. The sudden shift to children is no accident. The psalmist is refining our hope. The restored Jerusalem and the Lord's work are associated with the blessing of children.

But it's not just any children. Not at this point in the story, not in this "drama of the Son." Since Genesis 3:15 we've been looking for one born of a woman. Then for the offspring of Abraham (Genesis 12:3). Then for the descendent of David, the Son whose kingdom will be established forever (2 Samuel 7:13). We're looking for this Son. He's the locus of our hope.

The superscript is another step to help us see this. This psalm in the Songs of Ascents has an additional line. "A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon." Solomon? Yes. A son of David. The psalmist wants us to know that all our waiting is targeted on this Son. So the line about Solomon makes us think "David's son" and, perhaps, it also means to put Solomon in the same place as us. Maybe he knows (like we find out in 1 Kings) that he's not the promised one.

We begin to hear the message: Solomon has come and gone . . . and we're still looking for the Son.

And while we, after the Nativity, are not so much looking for the Son, we are looking to him. Jerusalem is not yet new and we know the only way it will be is by this One.

Part 3 tomorrow, Psalm 132.

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.