Yes, I'm continuing to post each Sunday about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on throughout summer 2020. It was such a good study to be working on amid the uncertainties of that year -- and some of it was done sitting at picnic tables as we camped in the midst of God's glorious creation. There just couldn't have been a better backdrop --so awe-inspiring, and so many great reminders of God's amazing power and endless creativity!
This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls. As I've said before, these are simple studies but I really do enjoy them and get a lot from
them. I very much enjoy more in-depth Bible studies as well, but these
simpler ones are also a blessing to do. I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study,
and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method. I find this
real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so
I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done
so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out --
and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for
prayer concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it
means to you.
Today's study is from Psalm 123, and the verse we were to closely consider is verse 3. I chose, however, to focus in on verses 1 through 3a.
S= "Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens.
"Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until He have mercy upon us.
"Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us ...".
O= C.I. Scofield, in the Scofield Reference Bible, has given this psalm the title of "Looking for God's mercy." The Psalmist says that he is lifting up his eyes to God for a specific purpose. I love how he addresses God here: "Thou who dwellest in the heavens." The Psalmist, as well as God's people, have their eyes on God, waiting on Him to show the mercy they have pleaded for.
A= I love how the Psalmist lifts his eyes to God in expectation of what He will do. It reminds me of Jehoshaphat's prayer in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat said,
"O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? And rulest Thou not over all the kingdoms of the nations? And in Thine hand is not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?"
"O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us, neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon Thee." (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12)
The Psalmist didn't hesitate to ask repeatedly. He asked for God's mercy more than once, and then watched and waited expectantly for God to give it.
P= "Lord, there are so many situations touching my life right now where I am expectantly looking to You and waiting for You to act. Some of them are things I've been praying about for many years, and others only for months. I will continually lift my eyes to You and trust You for the answer which I know will come. I praise You for how You will work, in Jesus' name, Amen."
The above prayer made me think of a poem by Edith Mapes. I have the last stanza of it copied out on the back cover of my prayer journal.
For years I’ve prayed, and yet I see no change.
The mountain stands exactly where it stood;
The shadows that it casts are just as deep;
The pathway to the summit e’en more steep.
Shall I pray on?
Shall I pray on with ne’er a hopeful sign?
Not only does the mountain still remain,
But, while I watch to see it disappear,
Becomes the more appalling year by year.
Shall I pray on?
I shall pray on. Though distant as it seems,
The answer may be almost at my door,
Or just around the corner on its way,
But whether near or far, yes, I shall pray --
I shall pray on.
-- Edith Mapes
This little study from Psalm 123 seems so timely today ... even more so than when I worked on it back in 2020. We surely need God's mercy on our nation and on us as believers. We are praying and waiting expectantly to see what God will do.