This introduction serves as an invitation to join in an on-going journey of discovery. You will not need to buy tickets nor make travel plans. All that's required is your Bible and a quiet place to read and meditate. Together we'll explore the Book of Psalms, Israel’s hymnal and longest collection of poetry.  

Psalm 123

Looking to Yahweh

TRANSLATION
(H) A Song of Ascents. (1) Unto you I lift up my eyes, to you who are enthroned in the heavens. (2) Behold, as the eyes of servants (look to) the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant (look to) the hand of her mistress, so our eyes (look to) Yahweh our God until he shows us favor. (3) Show us favor, Yahweh, show us favor, for we have had our fill of contempt. (4) Our souls have had their fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

OBSERVATIONS
Several repetitions should be noted in this brief psalm. Two body parts are mentioned at the outset. “Eyes” occurs four times while “hand” is found twice describing how servants respond to the desires of the master or mistress (vss. 1 & 2). A phrase used at the end of the second verse, “shows us favor,” is repeated twice in succession in the opening line the next verse (vs. 3). Two more terms are repeated: “had our/their fill” and “contempt” along with “scorn,” a synonym for “contempt” (vss. 3 & 4).

OUTLINE
I.  The submissive attitude we should have as servants of Yahweh  (1 & 2)
II.  The supplications we should make in seeking Yahweh’s favor  (3 & 4)

IDEA STATEMENT
Whether passively waiting for or actively seeking Yahweh’s favor, we should always look to him with unwavering trust.

APPLICATION
The circumstances may change, but the heart of the worshiper should always remain the same. Whether in a time of calm or in a moment of crisis, those who love Yahweh should be constantly looking to him, relying on him, for his favor. At times, we will be like those servants who patiently wait on the master or mistress to give them directions when their service is required (vss. 1 & 2). At other times, we will actively seek him because we are troubled by our circumstances or by the way others have treated us (vss. 3 & 4). Whether quietly waiting on him in seasons of calm or crying out to him in moments of distress, we can be confident that he loves us and will respond to our needs.

Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray continuously” (NIV) or “without ceasing” (KJV, 1 Thes. 5:17). This psalm demonstrates how we can obey this command. Whenever we are not in direct contact with Yahweh, our constant attitude should be that of the faithful servant who remains vigilant, ready to carry out whatever the master requires.

Psalm 124

Psalm 122