“Psalms of Ascent Series”, Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 151, Psalm 123v3
You have found a daily podcast based on the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134).
They are designed to help our hearts and minds being a healthy place while the Covid 19 virus does its worst.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1–4 NIV11)
Each day we will meditate on a verse or two from these wonderful Psalms as we make our pilgrimage from confusion to hope, pain to peace, anxiety to joy.
A summary of what the people of God have always experienced, Ps 119:22 & Neh 4:4. It is still the lot of Christians and the church today. Contempt and ridicule were common for Jesus – see the parable of the vineyard – Mk 12:6-8. The early Christians were treated with contempt (Act 5:41), and saw it as an honour! Things are no different today.
“It is illuminating that contempt is singled out for mention. Other things can bruise, but this is cold steel.” Kidner, Ps, 435.
We need mercy – the word appearing three times in quick succession, see v2.
God is not a police officer, but a potter ready to mold the clay into a better shape.
“In obedience we pray ‘mercy!’ instead of ‘Give us what we want.’ We pray ‘mercy! and not ‘reward us for our goodness so our neighbours will acknowledge our superiority.’ We pray ‘mercy!’ and not ‘punish us for our badness so we will feel better.’ We pray ‘mercy!’ and not ‘be nice to us because we have been such good people.’ Peterson, Obedience, 64.
While there is trust in this Psalm, there is also urgency. Urgency to see justice done is fine, complaining is not, nor is it OK to seek to bring about justice ourselves (with our limited viewpoint as to what justice is just in any particular situation) – remember Rom 12:19.
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John