Have you ever been…
- …told to keep your religious beliefs to yourself?
- …laughed at for living out your biblical convictions?
- …excluded from the “in” crowd?
- …put down because your morals are too strict?
The writer of the song of ascent in Psalm 123 must have experienced this quite a bit. He uses phrases like we have endured much contempt and we have endured much ridicule.
These are not words which the songwriter could easily brush off. One translation says, “our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning” of these ridiculing people. In other words, it’s not something he could just brush off by thinking, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Literally translated, the phrases exceedingly filled mean bad things multiplied 10,000 times!
The ridicule and the contempt hurts! So the psalmist cries out Mercy! three times. This isn’t like saying “Uncle,” or having your cornerman throw in the towel, or even tapping out in a UFC match. This is a soul crying out, “God, if You will give me Your gracious favor for one more round, I will not tap out, I will not go down, I will go through!”
So he looks to the only One who can help him—my eyes wait upon Jehovah. Just like a servant who is completely dependent on his master for his daily bread, just like a maid who is trusting her mistress will give her favor, this guy says, “My eyes are fixed on Jehovah! If He can’t help me, no one can.”
The songwriter’s conclusion is this: “I will continually lift my eyes up to You, to You Whose throne is in heaven.” There are distractions, and hurts, and those who ridicule me—lots of them!—but I will develop the habit of redirecting my eyes UP to look to God.
- When I feel anxious: I will redirect my eyes UP.
- When I feel scorned: I will redirect my eyes UP.
- When I’m hurt by others: I will redirect my eyes UP.
- When I’ve had my fill of ridicule and contempt: I will redirect my eyes UP.
- When I don’t think I can answer the bell for another round: I will redirect my eyes UP.
- No matter what: I will redirect my eyes UP!
Check out the full video of this encouraging message. And if you are in the area, join us this Sunday as we continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent.