1To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 2Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. 3Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. 4Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud. (Psalm 123:1–4 ESV)

The psalmist looks to God as a servant would his master or a maidservant her mistress (2).  It is not a look of contempt, anger or insolence.  He doesn’t come demanding or claiming his rights; he simply looks to God for mercy in the face of contempt (3).  Contempt means to be despised or put to shame.  In this case it is in the face of the proud and insolent. This is a man beat down.


The plea for mercy brings the person making the appeal to the lowest position.  There is no arrogance in a plea for mercy; there are no rights claimed in the plea for mercy; there is no defiant attitude in the plea for mercy; and there is no “I deserve better than this” in the plea for mercy.  There are no negotiations in the plea for mercy.  There is no power struggle in the plea for mercy. 


The plea for mercy involves throwing one’s self at the feet of God.  It recognizes there is nothing that merits or demands God’s provision.  It is completely relying upon the goodness, the steadfast love and kindness of God.  It is asking God to give not what we deserve but what He will graciously give out of the limitless reservoirs of His love and grace. 

The plea for mercy is the believer taking his or her rightful position and allowing God to be God.  In the plea for mercy there is the recognition that one needs God because He is God.  The plea for mercy is death to the idea that we are god. 

The experience of mercy is grand indeed.  There is no putting on the ritz anymore.  Mercy is God fully embracing us as we are.  Mercy frees us to enjoy His provision thus gratitude can flow to God.

A simple request; a simple desire – mercy.  What a novel thing in the Christian culture of demanding, naming and claiming things from God. 

Let’s get on our faces and ask for God’s mercy.

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