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Do Not Quit Looking to God 

Keep praying until you receive what you need

Psalm 123

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 6, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Psalm 123.0 | Ascending for Mercy

    0 A Song of Ascents.

    1. The Israelites repeated this Psalm as they ascended the hills into Zion.
    2. They ascended there because they needed something from God.
  2. Psalm 123.1–2c | We Look to Yahweh

    1 Unto You I lift up my eyes,
    O You who dwell in the heavens.
    2c Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
    As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
    So our eyes look to the LORD our God…

    1. The psalmist lifted up his eyes to the One who dwells in the heavens,
      1. lifting up his eyes to God because He dwells in the heavens.
      2. Leroy Brownlow wrote,

        “The animals have no longing that prompts their eyes to look heavenward. But man is different. With eyes of faith, he penetrates the veil of space and lifts his vision in search of the unseen” (November 13).
    2. The psalmist and Israel came under a situation greater than themselves.
      1. See the shift from first person to second person.
      2. Therefore, this Psalm looked to the One
        1. greater than all problems, troubles, and persecutors.
        2. What qualified Yahweh to help the psalmist?
          1. Yahweh dwells in the heavens,
          2. putting Him above anything on the earth.
    3. Therefore, the psalmist looked to Yahweh God.
      1. The psalmist said, “Behold,” to God,
      2. wanting God to look at the psalmist.

        15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
        For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
        (Psa 25.15)
      3. Matthew Henry said,

        Our eyes wait on the Lord, the eye of desire and prayer, the begging eye, and the eye of dependence, hope, and expectation, the longing eye.”
    4. The psalmist wanted God to see
      1. that as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
        1. so, the psalmist looked to God, and
      2. that as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
        1. so the psalmist looked to God.
      3. My experience with Russians translators.
        1. They were always by your side.
        2. Even when they took breaks,
          1. they did not let us get out of eye contact.
          2. If they saw us begin to interact with a Russian,
            1. even during their breaks,
            2. they would instantly stop doing whatever, whatever,
              1. they were doing, and
              2. helped us.
      4. The servant and the maid have to watch for anything.
        1. A certain look, a motion of the head, the pointing of the finger, and
        2. the servant knew what to do, and
          1. did it immediately.
          2. That pictures us toward the Lord.
            1. Christians means we imitate Christ.
            2. He did not live for Himself, but
              1. for the Father, and
              2. for the world,

                45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45).

                13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13.13–17).

                1. Are we better than Jesus that we do not have to serve?
                2. As He served, so should we serve.
  3. Psalm 123.2d | We Look Until We Find What We Need

    2d Until He has mercy on us.

    1. This marks the middle of the Psalm.
    2. The looking to God is for getting His mercy.
      1. Then the rest of the Psalm pleads for that mercy
      2. with an explanation
        1. of the situation,
        2. of why the psalmist needed mercy from God.
    3. We have to keep looking at God always, of course, but
      1. sometimes we have a focused need, and
      2. you keep looking to Him until He helps,
        1. unless you discover that He has something else planned
        2. instead of you receiving that thing.
    4. Remember the Parable of the Unjust Judge in Luke 18.
  4. Psalm 123.3–4 | We Look to Yahweh for Mercy

    3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us!
    For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
    4 Our soul is exceedingly filled
    With the scorn of those who are at ease,
    With the contempt of the proud.

    1. Here the psalmist begged for mercy,
      1. repeating it twice,
      2. showing his urgency and desperation.
    2. Then he listed the problem:
      1. Someone poured contempt on them
        1. to such a degree that the psalmist said
        2. that they were exceedingly filled with it.
      2. Someone living in ease scorned them.
      3. The proud held them in contempt.
        1. I think of how elitist celebrities and professors
        2. see us with eyes of contempt, and
          1. they are changing the United States, and
          2. they are tearing away our young people.


  1. Why look to Yahweh God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? 
    1. He dwells in the heavens.
    2. He is our God.
    3. He shows mercy, and
      1. His mercy exceeds the contempt of the enemy.
      2. Stand with God and His mercy and you are on the winning side.
  2. See the flow of this Psalm. 
    1. If I look to the Lord God,
    2. I find hope.
      1. Look inwardly, be depressed.
      2. Look outwardly, be distressed.
      3. Look upwardly, be blessed.