BIBLE: Psalm Chapter 123 – Headline “One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes … Soul”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

This Psalm is short and terse, like the pain it addresses.

Psalm 123

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • The difference between dignity and pride
  • An answer to prayer
  • Grace is given to the humble but the Proud are resisted

Prayer for Relief from Contempt

A Song of Ascents.

Psalm 123:1 Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.

Psalm 123:Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.
Psalm 123:Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!
For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

“A man who is stripped of his dignity is like a tree that has been debarked.”

Psalm 123:Our soul is exceedingly filled
With the scorn of those who are at ease,
With the contempt of the proud.

This Psalm is about those who are slaves and servants needing relief from a lack of dignity taken by those who are filled with arrogance and pride; filled with humiliation, day after day, stripped down, shamed, degraded without relief.

What is the difference between dignity and prided? Even churches get these two confused:

DIGNITY:

  • Dignity is a person’s umbilical cord to God being children of God and made in His image.
  • As our forefathers wrote all men are made equal with certain inalienable rights. What are those “rights”? They wrote: among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are tempered with the words “among these are”. This means there are more.
  • First, what are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? It is inherent in man to desire to live (life) free (liberty) and use their God given talents and gifts which bear forth happiness.
  • What are the other inalienable rights?
    • The right to say “no” without being shamed for it.
      • In a healthy relationship, both people have the right to say “yes” or “no” and have it accepted as such.
    • The right to ask for something, even an outrageous request, like cutting in line because you are running late and don’t want to miss your plane.
      • It’s up to the other person to say “yes” or “no”.
      • The same thing is true of our prayers to God. God can say “yes” or “no”.
        • Even outrageous requests. It’s okay to ask. Let God be the decision maker.
        • James says we don’t have because we don’t ask.
          • Listen to what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well:
            John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
          • 2 Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing (bg note: an outrageous request received) . Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.
  • I am of the personal opinion that when we ask God for something, even when we ask amiss, He will begin working in our heart until we are of the character not to misuse what we are given, for God is not an enabler. Even if we don’t receive it until we are in His presence in heaven.
    • If the above is true, then on some level God always says yes. There is one exception, God will never say yes to that which is evil and demonically controlled.

PRIDE

  • We have discussed the concept of dignity. Now let us speak of pride.
    • Pride is the opposite of dignity. Pride is trying to be more than you are, more than what God made you to be.
    • When Satan causes a man’s soul to be needy, he will want to overcompensate by puffing up, the yeast in the manna.
    • Pride makes men steal from other’s dignity in order to enlarge himself.

OUTRAGEOUS REQUESTS

  • I asked God to make me wiser than Solomon.
  • I asked God to reverse my aging DNA with the assumption that if God can make the sun travel backwards he can do the same with DNA.
  • Listen to what God told king David:
    • 2 Samuel 12:8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!
  • Ask! Seek! Knock! means “keep asking”, “keep seeking”, “keep knocking”. One cannot help but notice the irony of the acronyme; “A” “S” “K” .

THE CONDITIONS OF YES ANSWER

  • God wants to give every believer whatever he asks for, and yet, as parents, we know this is not a useful way to turn our kingdoms over to our children when they mature.
  • Therefore; prayers are answered positively when answered within boundaries.
  • Jesus said “If you ask anything in my name…”. What does that mean?
    • It doesn’t mean to rubber stamp and notarize it with the words “in Jesus’ name”.
    • It does mean to have the desire for the Father’s will in the same way Jesus did.
    • It means first of all to study to scriptures in such a way that one knows God’s heart, character and will. In other words, God has an agenda and to ask for something under the umbrella of God’s agenda is the surest way to get an automatic and resounding “yes”!
    • In short, God’s agenda is not to raise spoiled children, but warriors who are willing to fight for what is right and trust God for the outcome knowing that God’s character is such that He will always have our best interests at heart.

To address the psalmist on the matter of contempt.

Have you ever been humiliated without reason? For myself, it is one of the worse feelings of attack on my sense of well-being.

Through it, I have learned to be careful of mocking others and putting them in the same shame I have endured.

  • James 4:6b Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

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