Psalm 123:1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid 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, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. 4 We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.
Servants in the Middle East were trained to focus their attention upon the hands of their masters. They were on the ready to interpret hand motions and act accordingly. The psalmist is saying in verse one that his eyes are upon his Lord and master. His expectation is to see the Lord’s mercy extended to Him. This mercy will deliver him from contemptuous people. He says we have endured. The word, endure, means to tolerate disagreeable things or to bear hardship.
Part of Jesus prayer for His disciples in John 17 is verses 14 and 15, which say: “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” His word often brings us into situations of scorn and contempt. People belittle the word of God, ridiculing it and those who believe in it. If you are in that situation with family, friends or colleagues at work, it can become so very wearing on your soul. But Jesus doesn’t pray for us to be taken from it but to be protected from the evil one.
Aw, the evil one has his schemes to steal, kill and destroy. One of them is to incite those we love to reject us for what we believe. There can be so much tension that surrounds us due to our testimony. The temptation the enemy puts before us is to bury our gift and hide it out of sight, to go underground with our faith.
But the psalmist encourages us to focus on Jesus to receive mercy in our time of need. We can go boldly into the throne room of grace to receive mercy and grace according to the book of Hebrews. What would that mercy look like?
According to God’s word it would look something like Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The Hebrew word for wait can be interpreted as to wait, look for, hope, or expect. So as you look for, hope and expect in the Lord, He will renew our strength. We won’t be weary or faint. In fact it will be like an eagle catching the thermals and floating effortlessly through the sky.
To be attentive as a slave was to their master you have to stop and watch. Are you so busy you could be missing the subtleties of the Lord’s direction and restoration for you?
Prayer: “Father, I am waiting upon you, watching you. Release your mercy to me through strength and effortlessness in Jesus’ name.”