Psalms on the Journey
When a situation is misrepresented to make you look bad and another person look better, it is uncomfortable at the very least. When you believe in God and committed to follow His ways, you will have trouble in this world. Jesus told us that. Although this is annoying, like a “thorn in the flesh” so to speak, others around the world suffer in ways we cannot imagine for following Christ. Many are killed.
Psalm 123 speaks of mercy, looking to God for help, then being alert to see how God will work. It is not until we read verse 4 that we discover the true burden of the writer: the constant persecution of the people of Israel, being treated with scorn and contempt. In Psalm 124, Israel was almost swallowed up, drowned, and imprisoned in a trap. Captivity is the theme of 126, and 129 compares their suffering to a farmer plowing their backs. Has any nation ever suffered the way Israel has suffered?
Of course, God’s people today are also suffering because of their commitment to Christ (John 16:30). According to missiologists, more Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries combined! Join me and continue this prayer for mercy for others around the world who are slaughtered for believing in Jesus.
Psalm 123, The Message
A Pilgrim Song
1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.
When we find ourselves among the slandered, ridiculed, and persecuted, where do we turn for help?
1. We Look by Faith to God’s Throne (v. 1).
2. We Look by Faith to God’s Hand (v. 2).
3. We Look for God’s Mercy and Grace (vv. 3-4).
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being us and for us. Thank you for teaching and encouraging us. We look to You for your mercy and grace. We see You at work always in our lives and in the lives of others. Continue to have mercy on those who are persecuted to near death because they stand for you. Comfort and bless the families of those slain around the world, because they believed in You. In Jesus Name, Amen