Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:

4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.

5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.

Songs in the Wilderness

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Song of Solomon 8:5a Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

Isaiah 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sin: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye now know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Songs in the Furnace

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned: neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Songs in the Prison

Psalm 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

MEMORY VERSE: The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. — Zephaniah 3:17

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Songs of deliverance have been the comfort and delight of the saints in times of worship, battle, sickness, prison and suffering. Even in the midst of a fiery furnace or a burning desert, the pilgrims’ songs have sustained them.


Psalm 122:1 “A song of degrees for David”: hymns that “were sung by pilgrim bands on their way to the three great festivals of the Jewish year. The journey to Jerusalem was called a ‘going up,’ whether the worshipper came from north or south, east or west. All of the songs are suitable for use on such occasions. Hence, the title Pilgrim Psalms is preferred by many scholars” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). “Song of steps, a title given to each of these fifteen psalms, 120-134 inclusive. The probable origin of this name is the circumstance that these psalms came to be sung by the people on the ascents or goings up to Jerusalem to attend the three great festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16). They were well fitted for being sung by the way from their peculiar form, and from the sentiments they express. ‘They are characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e. repetition], and by their epigrammatic style…More than half of them are cheerful, and all of them hopeful. They are sometimes called ‘Pilgrim Songs.’ Four of them were written by David, one (127) by Solomon, and the rest are anonymous” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

Psalm 122:3 “Compact together”: or, as suggested by one translation, “Jerusalem, the (one) built like a city, union is in it together.” The ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, described the literal Jerusalem as “one and entire.”

Psalm 23:4 “Shadow of death”: deep shadow; death-like shadow; figurative of deep gloom, distress, or extreme danger; a dark dungeon; the pathless desert; the grave.

Psalm 119:54 “House of my pilgrimage”: this present world, where I am a pilgrim and a stranger; or wherever I am forced to wander during my lifetime; in exile or banishment from my friends.

Zephaniah 3:17 “He will rest in his love”: or, “He will be silent in His love;” a picture of a deep love that knows no utterance, juxtaposed with a love that breaks out into exuberant singing.


There are still more “song” examples in scripture we would like to briefly cover. The first refers to the songs which were sung by the Israelites as they went up to Jerusalem to worship at the feasts which were held three times each year. I would like to share a personal intrigue. When the Queen of Sheba came to investigate what was so great about King Solomon (I Kings 10; II Chronicles 9), it was said that when she had seen all of his wisdom, and all he had built, the meat of his table, the ministry of his servants, cupbearers and attendants, and what they wore, “and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.” In II Chronicles 5 and 7 we take note that as the Levite choir, in white robes, and the 120 priests with trumpets, sounded as one, the glory of the Lord filled the house. Assuming they assembled and sang in this glorious way while the queen visited, could that have been what carried her away? The majestic steps, the abundance of offerings and sacrifices—yes, that was impressive, but the songs—! “I was glad when they said unto me…” There was never worship like this in all the world; a glory so great the ministers could not bear to stand.

The earthly pilgrimage of God’s people took them many times through the deserts; through the wilderness places, the dark gloomy places. David’s shepherd-song has carried many a pilgrim through with the comforting words, “Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” Other scriptures are noted which refer to the valley, desert, or wilderness way. It is in the wilderness where we learn to lean on the Beloved! The presence of Christ in our desert makes it blossom; His Spirit comes to us like flowing streams in the dryness.

Indulge me in another intrigue: the pilgrims in the fiery furnace. The Septuagint and several other texts include this description in the 24th verse of Daniel 3: “Then Nebuchadnezzar heard them singing praise, and was astonished.” An Apocryphal work, called “The Song of the Three Children,” suggests the words they may have sung: “Oh all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever.” While these ideas are not included in the King James Version, I don’t believe it does injustice to the scripture to apply them to this story. I have included verses from Isaiah that could also have been the songs of deliverance the three captives sang while walking in the fire with the Son of God.

Have you ever thought of what Jesus and His disciples sang before they went out of the upper room into the Garden? Some have suggested the 113th-118th Psalms. Known as the Hallel, these Psalms were typically sung at the Passover commemoration. Could it have been, “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Surely, Jesus drank the full cup of salvation, and His death was very costly, very precious in God’s sight, enough to pay the price of salvation for all the world!

One more. What did Paul and Silas sing in the prison at Philippi? “At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25). I offer verses from Psalm 119 and Psalm 32 as a suggestion. Perhaps you can think of others.

I hope your soul has been blessed by this series of study. I know I have been richly blessed; amazed at times to the point of gasping with wonder and delight. Praise the LORD for His wonderful gift of song!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


Soon after I was saved at age eleven, the Lord began to inspire me with songs. The very first one was written after a friend got saved and I observed the change in his life. After I married and was called into the ministry, the Lord would inspire songs, usually corresponding with a particular trial we were going through.

During the time my father, Bro. Leslie Busbee, was going through the long valley of sickness and death, trying to sort through the range of my emotions was overwhelming for me. Then I heard a dear sister in the Lord testify of how she took her heavy burdens and sorrows to the Lord. “Lord,” she cried, “I just lay these at your feet.” That simple phrase gave me encouragement and soon my longings and griefs were expressed in words:

“Lord, I lay my burdens at Your feet.

Every care and trouble that I meet.

In the past I tried to be so strong

When the day was hard and when the night was long;

But I heard You say, ‘Come unto Me.

From your heavy load you can be free.

I will comfort you and give you rest so sweet,

When you lay your burdens at My feet.’

Chorus: Lord I give my life to You each day!

Take my cares, I cast them all away;

Carry me in Your everlasting arms so sweet,

Lord, I lay my burdens at Your feet.

Lord, I lay my sorrows at your feet,

Bitter tears that mingle with the sweet

When the ones I loved have passed away

And I long to hold them, hear the words they say;

When my eyes are burning from the tears

As I ponder memories of the years

Let me lay my head upon your arms so sweet,

Let me lay my sorrows at your feet.

Lord, I lay my past all at your feet.

Every moment shrouded in defeat

Every time I wandered from your side

Every day I wasted in my foolish pride

Every disappointment, hurt and tear

Every wound that I was called to bear

Every bitter tear that mingled with the sweet,

Lord, I lay my past all at your feet.

Lord, I lay my future at your feet.

Each tomorrow that I fear to meet.

I’m assured that gently I’ll be led

You’ve been there, and You know just what lies ahead

Hold my hand and guide me all the way

Give me grace sufficient for each day.

By your pow’r, I’ll never have to claim defeat,

Lord, I lay tomorrow at your feet.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck

Click here to listen to a group of saints singing, “Lord, I Lay My Burdens at Your Feet: