To you I lift up my eyes.
The Psalms of Ascent give expression to the range of human emotions and experiences. With Psalm 123 we see that even once the pilgrims have entered the holy city their griefs do not disappear. God’s people in the Old Covenant experienced turbulence throughout their existence as a nation. The same is true for the church. There has never been a time when the church has been free from trouble and threats either from without or within.
The traveler of Psalm 121 learned to direct his eyes above the troubling scenes upon “the hills.” Though troubled and wounded the writer of Psalm 123 nevertheless casts his gaze heavenward. He trusts that God, who is “enthroned in the heavens” is the sovereign God who “does whatever He pleases” (115:3).
Because God is sovereign over all things we can call out to Him for mercy. It makes no sense to cry out for mercy if God cannot actually direct circumstances and people. It is true that God’s mercy sometimes comes to us in ways that do not initially look like mercy. But God loves mercy. He loves it more than He loves justice. And He has been and will be merciful to His people. If we doubt this then we need look no further than the cross upon which He sacrificed His Son. No greater mercy has there ever been. No greater mercy will there ever be.