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Psalm 123

Jorine Johnson

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.

The Psalmist looks to the Lord, lifting his eyes and his gaze toward God, the one who rules and reigns, enthroned in the heavens, making his abode in the heavenly places. We see that the act of looking to God is the need for his mercy and dependence upon Him. The example the psalmist uses is the act of a slave looking up to his master. The slave is completely dependent on their master for sustenance and provisions, the need for mercy is incredible as a slave is bonded and cannot provide for himself. He is completely and wholeheartedly in dependence upon their master. And so it is the dependence that the psalmist looks to the Lord. He cries for mercy i absolute desperation, knowing that he is completely helpless on his own. Despite their situation, the ridicule and the contempt they experience, they can look toward the Living God because God is merciful and He hears the cries of His people.

This psalm is similar to the verse in Hebrews 12:1b-2: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Like the psalmist, we can set our gaze on Jesus Christ, the author, pioneer, and the perfecter of our faith. Because of Jesus, we can approach God’s throne with confidence and we are welcomed into His presence and we have incredible access to Him. Our longing is met in Jesus - who is our Savior, Friend, older Brother, and we are being readied to be His perfect Bride.

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