Vincent Van Gogh, 'The Sower at Sunset' (1888), oil on canvas, 21 x 32 in, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands.
Vincent Van Gogh, 'The Sower at Sunset' (1888), oil on canvas, 21 x 32 in, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands.

On their way to the great Jewish feasts in Jerusalem, the pilgrims that flowed from the towns and villages of Judea and Samaria would sing together on the roads, the hills echoing with their songs.

Fifteen psalms are identified in their ascriptions as "A Song of Ascents." We believe that this collection within the Book of Psalms consists of the songs that these pilgrims sang together on their way to the Holy City ascending the hills one by one until they reached Zion itself.

These daily Bible studies provide a brief meditation on every one of these short but profound psalms. Each is a bit longer than a standard "devotional." I'm trying to do justice to what the whole psalm says, rather than just lifting out an inspiring thought. In the process of reading, meditating, and focusing in on the main theme of each psalm, the you will be enriched. You might also consider my Experiencing the Psalms (JesusWalk Publications, 2010).

You will find the two weeks of this study a very rich time immersing yourself in the Songs of Ascent. As you are faithful to pause for the meditation of the day, day after day, you will begin to experience the cumulative effect of these passages and begin to trust in new, faith-filled ways. Through these meditations, you'll grow in Christ and in your confidence in our God.

With each lesson I'm featuring a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. As you may know, I am a watercolor painter and love bold, brilliant color which was one of Van Gogh's trademarks in his later paintings. What I didn't know was that Van Gogh had been a deeply devout Christian. You can see his love for the land and the crops.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Loomis, California
September 1, 2020

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