Dear Reader, this piece is a follow-up on the ‘prophetic artisans’ that was earlier released. It is also written for those who are in the music ministry or everyone working closely with them.
I found this exact phrase in my heart, ‘Songs of Ascent’. As I began to dig and delve into scripture, I found a number of things that I believe are instructive and prophetic for the season that the church is about to come into.
What is Song of Ascent?
Songs of Ascent or Songs of Degree is found in Psalms 120–134. These fifteen psalms have multiple authors with four of them credited to David, one to Solomon, and the others remaining unknown. There are a number of perspectives among theologians as to why these Psalms are given such a title, this piece isn’t to get into a theological debate but to show the mind of God for His people at such a time as this.
Let us start the journey from Exodus 20:25–26. Here, the Lord gave specific instructions as to how the altar is to be built and how the priest is to come up to the altar to sacrifice. Firstly, to prevent carving graven images on the altar either of things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, God instructs them not to carve the stones. In addition, in a bid to prevent absorption of the naked worship of the idol — Poer, the Lord told them to avoid their nakedness being out by avoiding steps as a means of ascending the altar of worship but what Targum of Jonathan paraphrases as ‘bridges’. The bridge is what the Jews call “Kibbesh”, a sort of causeway made of earth thrown up, rising gradually and leading to the altar’s top (John Gill’s Commentary).
One would have thought that is all about the scripture, but the knowledge of Old Testament typology and/or allegory to New Testament realities is why we know that there is more than what meets the eye. If the priest were to climb ‘steps’ to the altar, he would intermittently look down at the stairs as he climbs up. This means he loses sight of the Highest to whom the worship is to be offered. That back and forth, or up and down is an allusion to the inconsistencies that may arise as we approach God in worship, and just like Peter began to sink (Matthew 14:30) when his focus left Christ on the sea, so do many fail to fix their gaze upon Christ and soon fall away. However, this inconsistency is removed when “kibbesh” is climbed up. This is why in the vision of Ezekiel 43:17, “kibbesh” is used as in ascent and not steps.
To further throw in some weight, Aben Ezra (1089–1164), one of the most important Jewish Bible exegete, supposes that the name ‘Songs of Ascent’ was given to those fifteen psalms on account of their being sung on the return from Babylonian captivity, as the people were going up to Jerusalem (Clarke’s Commentary). This idea is probable because the fifteen psalms contain elements that drive home the idea of a people coming out of pain and seeking refuge in the Lord they have so much heard about. This goes to show that every time the returning Jews lift up their voices in singing as they climb up the hill of Jerusalem, they are choosing to leave behind them, the Babylonian systems, ideologies, and principles that they have known for years (most likely, seventy years). As they leave these systems, they embrace the systems, culture, ideologies, and philosophy of the kingdom about which they once heard or read. Their faces locked on God as they ascend, they drop the old ideals and thought patterns, choosing solidarity with Yahweh and His principles. In all fidelity, they ascend in true worship.
This type of worship of necessity in the days ahead. We are grateful to God for the worship leaders in the church today, leading warfare worship, solemn worship, praise worship, etc, but there is the need to begin to see the worship of ascent; worship that leads men away from bad cultures and prevailing civilizations into the culture of the Kingdom of Christ. God is seeking such men. Truthfully, there are a number of worship leaders whom I believe are leading men in this dimension but I believe there will be more and Yahweh will be praised forever.
Team Lead, Eden House