Psa. 123:0 A Song of degrees.

Three times each year the men of Israel were to come to the temple and present themselves before the Lord.

Deut. 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

The fifteen Psalms that are called the songs of degrees (elevation, journey to a higher place, go up) were to be sung as they ascended the temple mount.

 

Psa. 123:1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

I immediately thought of my life verse, Isaiah 26:3, as I read this verse.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

I often like to look up at the heavens as I pray to the Father.  It’s a beautiful and awesome reminder of just how big my God is and how totally sufficient He is for any burden on my heart, any need in my life. 

 

Psa. 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

A servant is at the mercy of his master.  The psalmist is picturing the man of faith as a servant of the Lord.  It’s interesting that emphasis is made regarding the focus being on the hand of the master or mistress.  The hand is representative of the actions of the master toward his servant. 

 

The hand of the Lord is strong and mighty.

Deut. 3:24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

Is. 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him….

 

The hand of the Lord is righteous.

Psa. 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Is. 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

His hand is that of a shepherd to those who look to Him in faith.

Psa. 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice….

 

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

The hand of a shepherd represents security, provision, and protection.

 

The hand of the Lord is filled with good.

Psa. 104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

 

Note should be made that the attitude of the servant is humble and submissive.  Those who humble themselves before God can look forward to an exalted position in the future.

1Pet. 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

 

The attitude of the servant of God is one of confident expectation.  The psalmist declares that the eyes of His servants will stay on the LORD “until” He shows them His mercy.

 

Psa. 123:3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Psa. 123:4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

These verses state the reason for this petition before the Lord.  They have been experiencing scorn and contempt of the rich and proud.  Isn’t that so often the truth.  Those who have in abundance usually have a spirit of pride at what “they” have accomplished.  Instead of having a heart of pity and kindness toward those that don’t have as much, they often respond with scorn (derision, mocking) and contempt (disrespect, neglect).

 

As I read through this psalm several times, I got the idea that the scorn and contempt being experienced by these servants of the Lord may have been due to their faith and obedience to Him.