Psalm 123 emphasizes the spiritual act of looking to God amidst life's challenges.
Psalm 123 — Looking Up — Aneel Aranha
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
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 no end of contempt.
We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud.
This short psalm begins with the words, "I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven" (Psalm 123:1). This act of lifting one's eyes is more than a physical gesture; it's a spiritual posture of recognizing where our help and hope come from. It's a conscious decision to shift our focus from the troubles surrounding us to the one who holds everything in his hands.
We often find ourselves troubled and anxious by situations in our lives or challenges that we face. They can overwhelm us if we give in to our fears. But why should we? Imagine for a moment your child looking up at you, her eyes filled with trust as she seeks guidance, protection, or perhaps simply assurance. What would you do as a parent? Now, imagine you are a child looking up to God. What would he do?
The psalmist continues: "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" (Psalm 123:2). Here, the emphasis is on waiting, on attentive observation, or a deep yearning for a response. The slave looks to the master, not out of fear but in anticipation of a command, a direction, or perhaps a provision.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs his followers: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). The act of asking, seeking, and knocking is an active form of looking toward God, of waiting with expectation.
But why look? Why wait? Because we are not self-sufficient people, much as we might want to be. Our vision is limited; our understanding is finite. But when we lift our eyes to the one who sits enthroned in heaven, we are aligning ourselves with an eternal perspective, with divine wisdom, and with unfathomable love.
So, let us lift our eyes to our God. We will be glad we did.
God bless you.