A Tough Climb
All sufficient God, I safely trust in You. You will protect me in all that seeks to come against me.
Read Psalm 120:1-7
A song of ascents. I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.  Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.  What will he do to you, and what more besides, you deceitful tongue?  He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom bush.  Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek, that I live among the tents of Kedar!  Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you relate to the experience the psalmist describes?
Like Paul and Timothy, the psalmist is up against people who claim things that are untrue. For him, many of them are personal attacks (2), though we’re not sure who the psalmist was or specifics of his circumstances. We do know that pilgrims sang this song as they trekked up to Jerusalem together, to worship God at their religious festivals. That’s why it’s titled “a song of ascents,” words for the steep climb.Is there any evidence here that the psalmist lashes out at his enemies? Take another look. Not really. You can see where he turns his thoughts and feelings (1). God should always be the first place to turn when people have a go at us or the church. He’ll put things right, sooner or later (3,4), though perhaps much later. The picture becomes clearer. The psalmist is far away from his own country (5). Meshek and Kedar were far beyond the northern and southern boundaries of Israel. It was a clash of cultures that was causing all the grief. Maybe it was a bit like the way we feel towards those in our country who don’t share our Christian values but speak out against its truths and our ways.
Remember that we are called “strangers and aliens” in this world (1 Pet. 2:11). Take comfort in your true hope.
Lord, sometimes I feel alone in a world that is not home to me. Be my comfort. Open my eyes to the hope that awaits.