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Lately, I’ve been reading in the Psalms of Ascent. These are the songs sung by the Israelites as they journeyed to Jerusalem for their annual feasts. This morning I lingered over Psalm 123:
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
till he has mercy upon us.
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Contempt - Proud
of the contempt of the proud (vv.1-4).
The phrase that caught my attention was, “I lift up my eyes.” In the midst of “more than enough” suffering, the psalmist looks up to the One who is enthroned in heaven. This is no casual glance upward. It is a fixed, steady, expectant gaze at the LORD. He calls out for and awaits God’s mercy. The psalmist appeals to the only one who can truly help, the King on His throne. This is similar to the focus of Psalm 121:1-2:
Eyes - Hills
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
Heaven - Earth
who made heaven and earth.
Are you faced with “more than enough” hardship today? Do the challenges you face seem insurmountable? Does the journey seem too much? Where do you look for help? If you’re like me, you don’t always look up. In fact, too often we look out, we look in, or we look down. What do I mean?
Help - People - Rightness - Others - Burdens
Sometimes we “look out,” expecting that our help comes from other people. There is a certain rightness to this. Others do bear our burdens (Gal. 6:2). Others are called to encourage our faintheartedness and help our weakness (1 Thess. 5:14). Others comfort us with the comfort of Christ (2 Cor. 1:3-4). But they are not our Messiah. In their own human frailty, they often fall short of what we truly need.
If others are untrustworthy helpers and unable to bear the full weight of our suffering, where else do we look? Sometimes we...
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