Psalm 123 – Breakthrough the Environment and See the Way Out 诗篇 123 – 突破环境 看见出路
Thursday, 23rd March 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Psalms 123 were written when the Israelite men were going up the Jerusalem to worship God. Why did God ask the men to go up the Jerusalem three times a year? Because God knows the men cannot multitask and when they were working, they could not focus on God. Therefore God told them to put down the jobs in their hands, and go to Jerusalem to observe the festival and to worship God. God knows our weakness, and He wants us to seek His righteousness and kingdom first, this is not a religious ritual, but a way God uses to help us focus on Him, pray to Him, seek Him, and we can be blessed. But a lot of people come to the Temple of God with the wrong attitude, they come only because they have to, they still think about the things of the world, and they cannot really receive the blessings from God.
诗篇 123 篇是在以色列的男人上耶路撒冷敬拜神的时候写的。为什么神要男人一年三次上耶路撒冷？因为神知道男人不能同时处理多项任务，当他们工作时，他们无法专注于神。所以神吩咐他们放下手中的工作，往耶路撒冷去守节敬拜神。神知道我们的软弱，祂要我们先寻求祂的国和祂的义，这不是宗教仪式，而是神用来帮助我们专注于祂，向祂祷告，寻求祂，我们才能蒙福的方式。但是很多人来到圣殿的态度是错误的，他们是迫不得已才来的，还想着世上的事，并不能真正得到神的祝福。
Section One V1 Lift Up Eyes to God 向神举目
V1 ‘Unto You I lift up my eyes, o You who dwell in the heavens.’ God sits enthroned, He is greater than the sky, the sea, and the earth. The psalmist said he lift up his eyes, not just look ahead, but to look up. We don’t often look up, this is unnatural to look up, we have to deliberately look up to God, because when we look in front of us, when we look around us, we only see the environment, and we only see the people. It’s so easy for us to seek help from the environment and from the people, so in Psalm 123, we learn to breakthrough the environment, to lift up our eyes, and see the God enthroned.
Section Two V2 Look Toward God 要朝着神等
V2 ‘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.’ It’s just like when we are at church, the people at the sound desk at the back of the room must always look at the people on the stage, to make sure everything presented on the stage is right. In the same way, the servants and the maid would always look at the hand of their masters and their mistress, so they will know where they need to be and when they need to do anything. When we look at God closely, then we can see where God leads us to, what is God’s heart, and when God will move.
We must wait humbly, because we don’t know the time, only God knows. Our eyes must look toward God until His mercy comes upon us. ‘Mercy’ is a verb in the original script, we must look toward God, humble ourselves, take away all the obstacles that block our way, and to only look toward God. Stop seeing the things we want to see, but only see God, to look toward God, to deliberately remove everything that is in front of us that stops us seeing God.
Section Three V3-4 Seek God’s Mercy 要求神怜悯
V3 ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.’ When we seek only the mercy of God, then everything else on this earth will not matter to us anymore. The world wants us to examine everything, to make sense of everything, but there are still so much about God and about this world that we don’t know. Exodus 33:19 says, ‘Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”’ It’s never about how much we do or how well we do, it’s always about the mercy of God. Are we willing to let go of our past experience, our knowledge, our own logic, our own interpretation… and let God show His mercy upon us?
V4 ‘Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud.’ People scorn us and come to us with the contempt, they don’t understand why we do what we do. People did not understand the Israelites at the time, even after their nation was taken captive, their Temple was destroyed, but they still went up to Jerusalem to worship God. But as followers of Christs, we know that in Psalm 122:6-7, ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.”’ People may not understand us, people may make fun of us, but are we still willing to believe that when we look up God, when we come to God’s Temple no matter what, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, God will bring prosperity to us.
人们藐视我们，带着轻视来到我们当中，他们不明白我们为什么要做我们所做的事情。当时人们不理解以色列人，即使他们的民族被俘虏，圣殿被毁，他们仍然上耶路撒冷敬拜神。但作为基督徒，我们知道在诗篇 122:6-9 中说要为耶路撒冷的平安祈祷：“你们要为耶路撒冷求平安：“耶路撒冷啊，爱你的人必然兴旺……因耶和华我们神殿的缘故，我要为你求福。”人们可能不理解我们，人们可能会取笑我们，但我们是否仍然愿意相信，当我们仰望神时，当我们无论如何都要来到神的圣殿时，当我们为耶路撒冷的和平祷告时，神会给我们带来繁荣。
The psalmist asked God for His mercy, he knew he could not do anything for people to accept him, but to simple look towards God, and ask God for His mercy. God already told us that He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. Are we willing to wait, to only look toward God, to be under the Tree of Life, to humble, to obey, to deny ourselves, and to benefit others, and God will lead us to break through our environment and to see the way out!