psalms Chapter 123
This psalm was penned at a time then the church of God was brought low and trampled upon; some think it was when the Jews were captives in Babylon, though that was not the only time that they were insulted over by the proud. The psalmist begins as if he spoke for himself only (v. 1), but presently speaks in the name of the church. Here is, I. Their expectation of mercy from God (v. 1, v. 2). II. Their plea for mercy with God, (v. 3, v. 4). In singing it we must have our eye up to God’s favor with a holy concern, and then an eye down to men’s reproach with a holy contempt. A song of degrees.
Verses 1-4 We have here, I. The solemn profession which God’s people make of faith and hope in God, v. 1, v. 2. Observe, 1. The title here given to God: O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Our Lord Jesus has taught us, in prayer, to have an eye to God as our Father in heaven; not that he is confined there, but there especially he manifests his glory, as the King in his court. Heaven is a place of prospect and a place of power; he that dwells there beholds thence all the calamities of his people and thence can send to save them. Sometimes God seems to have forsaken the earth, and the enemies of God’s people ask, Where is now your God? But then they can say with comfort, Our God is in the heavens. O thou that sittest in the heavens (so some), sittest as Judge there; for the Lord has prepared his throne in the heavens, and to that throne injured innocence may appeal. 2. The regard here had to God. The psalmist himself lifted up his eyes to him. The eyes of a good man are ever towards the Lord, Ps. 25:15 . In every prayer we lift up our soul, the eye of our soul, to God, especially in trouble, which was the case here. The eyes of the people waited on the Lord, v. 2. We find mercy coming towards a people when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, are towards the Lord, Zec. 9:1 . The eyes of the body are heaven-ward. Os hominy sublime debit—To man he gave an erect mien, to teach us which way to direct the eyes of the mind. Our eyes wait on the Lord, the eye of desire and prayer, the begging eye, and the eye of dependence, hope, and expectation, the longing eye. Our eyes must wait upon God as the Lord, and our God, until that he have mercy upon us. We desire mercy from him, we hope he will show us mercy, and we will continue our attendance on him till the mercy come. This is illustrated (v. 2) by a similitude: Our eyes are to God as the eyes of a servant, and handmaid, to the hand of their master and mistress. The eyes of a servant are, (1.) To his master’s directing hand, expecting that he will appoint him his work, and cut it out for him, and show him how he must do it. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (2.) To his supplying hand. Servants look to their master, or their mistress, for their portion of meat in due season,
Let us Pray; I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured