“Have Mercy on Us”
Seeking Savior, Loving Father, Living Spirit, I reach out to You again today. Have mercy upon me. Draw me closer to You.
Read Psalm 123:1-4
A song of ascents.
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.
The only way to rise above scorn and disregard is to keep our eyes fixed on our Heavenly Father. After all, he is in charge, and his opinion is the only one that really matters.
Sometimes all you can do is wait. You lose your job unexpectedly; someone close to you is diagnosed with a terrible illness. Sometimes, like the disciples on the road up to Jerusalem, we don’t know what will happen next. Sometimes, like the blind men outside Jericho, we must simply wait for Jesus–and then call out with persistence and determination, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us” (Matt. 20:30).
The pilgrims who sang this song were looking ahead to the King’s city (1) and, in faith and hope, to a place where wrongs (of every kind) would be righted and there would be relief from the hardship and injustice they endured (3-4). Perhaps these words were spoken by God’s people as exiles among enemies who treated the immigrant captives with contempt. Perhaps they were composed while Nehemiah’s returning exiles labored to rebuild Jerusalem as others mocked and ridiculed them (Neh. 4:1-5). They are words, however, not just of hope, but of trustful anticipation. “The hand of their master” (2) evokes “the hand of God” which speaks of “God in action” (E. M. Blaiklock, 1903-1983). Forgive the indulgence, but like Christopher Smart (1722-1771), I “consider my cat Jeoffry” who is gazing at me trustfully, knowing he will be fed! So, like ever-watchful servants, we stand, looking to our Master, waiting for his word (2), confident that he has matters in hand.
God’s people found themselves belittled by “the arrogant”–those who trusted in themselves, not in God (4). But our Master is the King who loves to serve the lowly, the despised, the “poor in spirit”–“for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). We can trust him to act (2), to provide for our needs. He has shown us mercy and, as we pray now, we know he will extend his mercy to us on this day’s journey. This is our Servant King.
How do you respond to the doomsayers in your life? Too much? What does it mean to keep your eyes on your Heavenly Father? How can you improve your focus on him?
Gracious Lord, You never sleep or slumber. You are always aware of my circumstances and I am grateful for that. I resolve anew to focus on You through all the ups and downs of my life.