In the courts of kings and queens, there are many quiet, unassuming people who are listening attentively to every word of command that comes from the mouths of “My Lady or My Lord”. Servants know their masters so well that even the body language and other behaviors of their masters show foreseen needs of which servants are quick to fulfill before the request is even on the masters’ lips. Alert servants know how to serve well, leaving nothing undone. Good servants are protected and cherished in the courts of the King.
It is with this servant thinking that the psalmist approaches God. “I look to you, God, for help” is a cry from a devoted servant of God, who waits on God and knows God well. “We’re watching and waiting…” sings this songwriter. During this writing the Jews are being ridiculed daily, persecuted and maligned in every situation. God’s servant, attentive to His Master’s commands is asking for mercy that only God can deliver.
As dedicated servants of God, we find ourselves among the slandered, ridiculed, and persecuted, at times. Where do we turn for help? The psalm provides great answers to that question:
- Look to God by Faith! Of course, with our human eyes, we cannot see God on His throne, but with the eyes of faith we see Him as we believe the Word. As God’s servant and child, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord” (25:15 nkjv). To look to the Lord means to trust Him and turn our problems over to Him by faith.
- “Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2 nkjv), is believing God’s Son is LORD of lords and King of all kings. The life of faith continues as we keep our eyes of faith on Jesus (Heb. 12:2), and it will climax with faith becoming sight when we’ll see Jesus in His glory (1 John 3:1-2).
- We Look by Faith to God’s Hand. In Eastern countries, masters often commanded their servants by means of hand signals, so the servants kept their eyes on the master’s hand. This is what gave them direction for their work. But the master’s hand was also the source of their provision, what they needed for their daily sustenance. Finally, the master’s hand protected them in times of danger. So it is with God’s people today: our direction, provision, and protection all come from our Master’s hand, and His hand never fails.
- We Look for God’s Mercy and Grace! The exiles from Israel had spent seventy years in Babylon. As the Jews tried to rebuild their nations, traditions, and places of worship they were ridiculed and persecuted at every turn. The surrounding nations of Gentiles (those not of the faith) wanted defeat for the Jewish nation. Imagine trying to serve God with constant ridicule and shame. “We have endured much contempt” the psalmist cries out! But God chooses and uses the despised things of this world (1 Cor. 1:28). After all, our salvation was purchased by One who was “despised and rejected of men” (Isa. 53:3). The One and Only is Jesus.
AND THAT’S NOT ALL…THINK ABOUT IT…
We are not only subjects of the King and servants of the Master, but we are also the children of a gracious Father who hears the cries of His children and comes to their aid. He has grace and mercy for each situation.
In those postexilic times, God’s chosen people were being maligned, ridiculed, and opposed, but God gave them the grace they needed to finish the temple and restore the worship. The enemy was smug and complacent, but God was at work in their midst.
The nation of Israel continued, and one very special day, the promised Messiah was born into the human race in the little town of Bethlehem. If you find yourself laughed at and criticized because you belong to Jesus Christ, you are part of a very elite group, and you do not have to be embarrassed or start looking for a place to hide! There is grace available at the throne of grace from the God of all grace, so lift your eyes of faith to Him.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 123, The Message
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.
TRUTH: God of all love, mercy and grace is ready and willing to come to our aid.
Proverb 3:5-6, The Message
WISDOM: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
Father in Heaven,
You are God and I am not. I serve You because I love you. You protect and provide, with your unconditional love, mercy and grace. You care for us as a Good Shepherd cares for his sheep. You love us relentlessly as a Father would a child. You show us mercy and grace even though we don’t deserve it. You, dear Jesus, laid down your life for me. How could I love and serve anyone else but you? I cannot. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life to bring me closer and closer to You. I’m watching and waiting, standing at attention, ready to serve.
In Jesus Name, Amen