Psalm 123, The Fourth Song of Ascent

The Psalms of Ascent are sometimes called the Songs of Degrees. Psalms 120 – 134 were used as the “caravan songs” of the travelers who journeyed to annual feasts in Jerusalem. As you read Psalm 120, you see that the Psalmist declares that he dwells among those that hate peace. Picture this group of holiday travelers as they left their homes (often in pagan lands) to travel to up (thus, the designation “ascent”) to Mount Zion.

They probably thought of these Psalms with the same fondness that many people would savor Christmas carols.

With this in mind, I composed a piece of poetry, based on Psalm 123. Together, we sang these words to the tune of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” to try to capture the “holiday flavor” of the text. But this is not, by any means, a “candy-coated” approach to life.

Here is a real conflict as the travelers remembered the proud scorners who held them in such contempt. How should we crowd such contempt out of our minds for the upcoming holidays? Psalm 123 holds some blessed answers as we learn to lift up our eyes to the Lord and cry for His Mercy on us. As we study this psalm today, we learn what it means to be a Christian among the contemptuous crowds.

To You, O Lord, We Lift Our Eyes

A poem based on Psalm 123

To You, O Lord, To You we lift our eyes,

To Him, Who sits enthroned upon the skies

Behold! my eyes attend to your Hand,

To cry for Grace and Mercy in this land.

W need Your Grace! Oh Heavenly Lord,

we wait upon your mercy in this place!

Oh Lord, we find such hatred in this land

And all around, contempt on every hand

To You, O Lord, to You we lift our eyes

Oh hear us, Heavenly Lord, oh hear our cries

W need your Grace! Oh Heavenly Lord,

we wait upon your mercy in this place!

Until we see Your mercy from above

We serve and wait upon our God of love,

We wait among the hateful scorners here,

Until your work of mercy shall appear

We need your Grace! Oh Heavenly Lord,

we wait upon your mercy in this place!

– Pastor Gordon Dickson