Psalm 123:2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
Most of us have no idea what it is to look to God the way a slave would look to the hand of his or her master, even though slavery in various forms is rampant even today. In most countries today slave masters face assorted legal penalties if they are caught, but many are not caught, and back then they had the power of life or death, or any other decision, with no restrictions. Since God is literally omnipotent by very definition, this can be said of Him. The only reason we are not destroyed – since we have done plenty to deserve that – is that He is loving and gracious and incredibly patient. We don’t know the particular circumstances that prompted this Psalm, but none of us are without problems, and we would do well to learn from this verse. We cannot demand that God do anything, but we can have assurance that if we throw ourselves on His mercy in repentance and faith, His response will be better than we could ask for. Too often we forget that God has both absolute power and absolute authority. That’s why it is incredibly significant that Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” (Matthew 28:18-19) In modern society we hardly know what absolute authority looks like. It is true that we are to obey Christ out of love rather than just out of obligation, but at the same time we need to remember that the power and authority are indeed His, and act accordingly.
I have certainly done my share of saying, “Yes, but…” to God, rather than being instantly obedient. That has never worked out well! I am to remember, and be fully grateful for, His grace, love, and mercy, but I am not to be presumptive. I must never say or even think, “This won’t matter because He’ll forgive me anyway.” That attitude is never the path of blessing! I am to walk in moment-by-moment obedience, joyfully yielding Him full control rather than “kicking against the goads,” as Saul of Tarsus did. (Acts 26:14) Sometimes the way is not easy, but God’s plans are always for my good, even if I can’t see it at the moment.
Father, it seems like I am in a never-ending training course in this area. Actually, Your Word makes it clear that it isn’t going to end until I’m done with this body and stand before Your throne. That awareness makes heaven all the more attractive! Help me make the right, full use of the lessons You give me here and now, so that I may be increasingly useful and effective as Your agent even while I’m here, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!