To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, 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 upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
Bellinger and Brueggemann in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary describe Psalm 123 as “one of the loveliest prayers in all of Scripture, simple and direct, trusting and confident, spoken out of need and in much hope.”
When the psalmist writes “I lift up my eyes,” it is an expression of anxiety and helplessness. I have nowhere to look but to God in heaven. The enemies seem to have taken over. I have no earthly hope; instead, my hope is found only in God. The psalmist sees God as the Lord who brings mercy; that even in the depths of despair, the one of mercy and love is with me.
In all the brokeness of the world, and ourselves, we lift our eyes to God our Lord and find mercy and love. A strong refuge in a broken world, that empowers us to stand in love against the brokeness. Through God’s mercy we are empowered to reflect the light of Christ, the light of love, into all the dark places of ourselves and the world. In reflecting Christ’s love, we bring healing in to ourselves and to the world. This is an amazing thing: that God uses us to bear his mercy and love.