(A song for worship.)
A Prayer for Mercy
1Our Lord and our God,
I turn my eyes to you,
on your throne in heaven.
2Servants look to their master,
but we will look to you,
until you have mercy on us.
3Please have mercy, Lord!
We have been insulted
more than we can stand,
4and we can't take more abuse
from those proud,
In the Hebrew Psalms 120-134 are called songs of “Ascents,” a phrase which scholars think marks them out as songs to be sung as Jewish pilgrims travelled uphill to Jerusalem. Since they went to Jerusalem three times a year to celebrate festivals, one can imagine them singing these songs along the way. As Jerusalem, or Zion, as it is sometimes called, is frequently referred to in these psalms, the CEV has simply called them “Songs of Worship.” They were written by different people at different times, mostly short and therefore easily memorized. As we read several of them in the coming weeks, you might want to consider memorizing them yourself, and, as it were, joining the band of pilgrims.
Most of us have known at some time what it is to be insulted. Maybe when you were in high school you were not good at sports, or were the smallest in your class, or were an immigrant, or had a stammer, or . . . There is no end of reasons why people choose to despise one another. Now social media have made the problem many times worse, and bullies ruin other people’s lives.
Perhaps you have also been scorned as a Christian. People think you are naïve to believe. They may have contempt for what you believe to be a Christian lifestyle, with a commitment to self-control in all areas of your life.
“Courage!” as my French friend likes to say. Like the pilgrims, turn to your master in heaven and fix your eyes on him. He understands, he forgives, he gives you strength. No matter how much scorn others pour on you, he made you, he treasures you and he loves you.
Perhaps you yourself need to lift up your eyes and look to Jesus in prayer. Or perhaps you can reach out in friendship and understanding to someone you know who is being bullied. Jesus himself was despised and rejected (Isaiah 53:3). He knew what it was like.