I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war. Psalm 120:7
Psalm 120 is the first of a group of psalms called the Songs of Ascent (120-123). This group of hymns was likely used by pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem to worship the Lord during the three annual national feasts – Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. As pilgrim families made the arduous journey to the holy city for festive worship, they would use these psalms as encouragement along the way. It is also possible that once they arrived in Jerusalem, they would sing these songs anew as they drew near the temple, reenacting their journey and affirming God’s blessing on their path. Psslm 120, a psalm of lament, focuses on the lies of the wicked that affect the righteous.
120:2, 3 lying lips: In the contest of these psalms, the lying lips belong to those who assault the believers for their trust in the Lord. Your false tongue: As in Ps. 12, the poet is distraught at the seeming power of the words of the wicked.
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree!
120:5-7 This section reveals the intensity of the psalmist’s distress – woe is me. His environment was hostile to his faith. Meschech and Kedar are random examples of the pagan peoples among whom the psalmist had to live. I am for peace: This may have set the stage for believers to make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In Zion they would be among the people of God. In Jerusalem they would hear the words of truth. In the temple, they could pray for the peace of God.
Source: NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson
** Deceitfulness seems to be at the core of the problem. Believers of the truth are being assaulted with false testimonies against them. Let us remember that we are not here to stay. We are pilgrims who are passing through pagan peoples. We are on our way to a place where the truth is celebrated. We will have peace then. Not now. Let us not be deceived when we hear the chanting of “peace.” We won’t have it until the deceitfulness of the wicked is gone.
120 1 A Song of Ascents. In my distress I cried to the Lord, And He heard me. 2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree! 5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. 7 I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.