WHY YOU CAN LIFT YOUR EYES TO THE ONE ENTHRONED Adriel Sanchez for Core Christianity

Have you been eagerly watching for the next update from your local or State officials? I confess, it’s hard to miss a news conference these days. Here in California the question is, “What phase are we in? How long will it last? Who can open up?” A lot of us are paying more attention to these kinds of things than we ever have because we’re hoping for a bit of progress and respite. We want to go back to work, or to the beach (right now we can walk but not sit on the beach!), or to our favorite restaurant. Like a runner looking for the signal to begin the race, we’re watching to see when life as it was might get started again.

Could it be that we’re looking to the wrong people, in the wrong way, for the wrong things, though? I was struck by this when reading Psalm 123. Psalm 123 is one of the Psalms of ascent, and traditionally it is believed that these particular Psalms are the songs worshippers would sing on their way to the temple. Whoever wrote Psalm 123 was living in turmoil. He wrote “… we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud” (vs. 3b–4).

The Old Testament frequently calls out the unjust and oppressive rule of the wicked. Here you get the sense that the psalmist experienced it first-hand. While they prospered and probably had their needs met, the psalmist says that he had been sated (“met” or “treated” might work better here) with scorn and contempt. We’re not entirely sure about the details, but those headed to the temple to praise the Lord could identify with this ancient complaint and plea for mercy. While in comparison to the Hebrew exiles we have it really easy today, it’s not unthinkable that the current orders might have you feeling a tad oppressed and watching attentively for the next government update.

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