Have you been waiting for God’s deliverance? Lay your situation before him once again today and trust in his goodness.
Read Psalm 123
1 I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured no end of contempt.
4 We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of how you would describe the overriding message of the book of James.
In the book of James we have seen how easily the arrogant rich have ended up unethically exploiting the weak and/or defenseless poor (Jas. 5:4a). And yet, we have also seen whose side God is on: he is on the side of the oppressed (Jas. 5:4b). Today, using the metaphor of servanthood (2), the psalmist asks for God’s help and deliverance from arrogant oppressors, trusting in God’s mercy.
The psalm opens with the phrase “You who sit enthroned in heaven” (1b), a reminder of God’s control and providence. It is easy in hard times to be overwhelmed by our circumstances, particularly when we are unjustly treated by others. And yet the word “eyes” is used repeatedly in verses 1 and 2: eyes that “lift up” (1) and “look to” (2) God in times of trouble, echoing the famous opening lines of Psalm 121: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” And there is an expectation that God will come and help: “our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy” (2b). Despite experiencing injustice and contempt, the psalmist finds confidence in God, waiting for God’s just deliverance.
Do a word study of “mercy.” What does God’s mercy mean to you? How can you extend mercy to others?
God, grant me patience in times of trial and strengthen my trust in You as the One who sees all and is ultimately in control.
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