Psa. 125:0 A Song of degrees.
Three times each year the men of Israel were to come to the temple and present themselves before the Lord.
Deut. 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
The fifteen Psalms that are called the songs of degrees (elevation, journey to a higher place, go up) were to be sung as they ascended the temple mount.
Psa. 125:1 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
Mount Zion makes reference to the temple mount in Jerusalem. Scripture is clear that the Lord is going to rule from mount Zion.
Is. 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Scripture also declares that of His kingdom there shall be no end.
Is. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Is. 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The psalmist is saying that those that trust in the Lord shall live forever just as surely as GodŐs Kingdom will last forever. Trust/belief goes hand in hand with stability and permanence.
Is. 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Psa. 125:2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
The mountainous terrain of Jerusalem formed a natural protective barrier. I found the following quote at http://www.bible-history.com/jerusalem/firstcenturyjerusalem_the_land_of_jerusalem.html.
ŇThe city of Jerusalem rests on a limestone plateau 2500 feet above sea level. It is located in the central hill country, and is near the border of the Judean desert. It is far removed from any major trade routes. On the west side of Jerusalem are the Judean mountains, on the east side is the Judean desert, which descends 4000 feet in 10 miles at the Dead Sea. The rugged terrain of Jerusalem was a definite military advantage; it was easy to defend because the city can only be reached on its northern side. The east, west, and southern sides had steep valleys.Ó
The psalmist is comparing the LordŐs protection of His people to the security the mighty mountains surrounding Jerusalem provided its people; a mighty defense with which he was familiar. ItŐs really a parallel statement to the previous verse, which is a common characteristic of Hebrew poetry.
Psa. 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
The psalmist is confident that God will not allow the wicked to have permanent rule over the righteous, since this would provoke the righteous to act wickedly. I think the psalmist is clearly speaking from the perspective of trust and realization that GodŐs reckoning of time is far different from our reckoning of time. In connection with the previous two verses, I would say he is looking forward to MessiahŐs Kingdom, knowing that the wicked will have their temporary victories. In the psalmistŐs eyes the Ňlot of the righteousÓ would be the land of Israel.
Psa. 125:4 Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.
This verse is worded like a prayer. ItŐs interesting that He starts out expressing confidence in the LordŐs blessing and protection of His people, and in this verse he is asking for blessing. It reminds me of the man who came to Jesus and said, ŇLord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.Ó (Mark 9:24)
Psa. 125:5 As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.
The psalmist is confident, however, that YHWH will Ňtake awayÓ or cause to ŇvanishÓ those that do wrong. This is really the flip side of the coin stamped with the previous verse.
In the heart of the psalmist, it is clear that Israel corresponds to those that do good and are upright in heart. Peace is a reference to Ňsafety, happiness, health and prosperity.Ó
Although Israel will always have a distinct place in GodŐs provision for His people, the principles for GodŐs dealings with all people of faith are the same. Those who trust in the Lord will experience life in the security of His protection forever. Those that do good (live according to GodŐs word) and are upright in heart (pure motives) will experience the peace of God. Those who choose to live wickedly will live outside GodŐs presence and provision.
The Hebrew for peace also makes reference to straight. ItŐs another poetic expression of the opposite sides of a coin.
Crooked = wrongdoers = outside GodŐs presence
Straight = good doers = surrounded by GodŐs presence