A Prayer For Help

Peace, is that calm of mind that is not ruffled by adversity, overclouded by a remorseful conscience, or disturbed by fear (Source unknown).

Peacemaker

Psalm 120 is the first of a series of fifteen “Pilgrim Psalms” or “Songs of  degrees,” which were sung by those who journeyed to the Jewish Temple for the annual feasts (Passover, Pentecost, the Day of Atonement, etc). Each of these psalms is a"step” along the journey. Some scholars say that these songs were sung walking up the fifteen steps of the Temple. Psalm 120 is not a happy song-it’s more like the Blues! Psalm 120 begins with distress, and ends with war.

When we find ourselves experiencing distress and disappointment, we have three responsibilities to fulfill if our burdens are to become blessings and we are to become a peacemaker:

  1. We must pray (vv. 1-2). Some have suggested that this was written by David during the time of his exile, when king Saul was trying to track him down and kill him, and he had to live among pagan peoples in a foreign land. We can sense the ache in his voice as he laments his situation and cries out to the Lord.
  2. We must trust God (vv. 3-4) The writer did not need to attack the enemy, because the Lord would do it for him. Arrows and fire are images of the enemies lying words. He was confident that God would punish the enemy with their own weapons. When we are slandered and lied about, we must leave the matter with the Lord and trust Him to work.
  3. We must patiently endure (vv. 5-7) Meshech and Kedar (v.5) were powerful, warlike peoples located to the North and South of Palestine. They were characterized by ruthlessness. They took pride in their military strength and economic power. They had no qualms about attacking and devouring weaker nations. The psalmist was a peacemaker (v. 7) and tried to encourage his godless Jewish neighbors to be peaceable regardless of their war like ways.

Application

God is my protector and provider. No matter how deep the wound, no matter how unjust the treatment may be, God will take up my cause. He will defend me, he will care for me and comfort me, and in his own time, he will be my peacemaker and make all things right.

Psalms 120:1-7 (English Standard Version)


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