Psalm 123 - A Song of Ascents.
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till 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 enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
The weary pilgrims, dust covered and foot-sore, glance upward to the looming city on the hillside. They have been traveling for days. The grit that grinds between their teeth has been their constant unwanted sustenance as they plod continually beside their beasts of burden. They are Jews. They seek Jerusalem. Pausing now, looking towards their holy city, a tear forms at the corner of their eye. As it forms and then slowly descends downward over the leathery wrinkled face of one who has spent their life exposed to the harsh wind and sun of the Middle East, it cleanses all it touches. These tears wash the dust from the pilgrims cheek.
The oppressors deal harshly with the Jews. They randomly swoop in from the hills and help themselves to any produce, stock or goods that these nomadic dwellers may have accumulated. It is a wearying existence. The constant glances over their shoulder, the beatings and the mockery... the mockery hurts the most. The sneer of the intruders, the arrogance of these heathen infidels curdles the blood of the Jew. They mock the pilgrim's belief. They mock Jehovah. Their cruel laughs and taunts ring loudly in the ears of the oppressed long after the dust settles from their departure.
Where is Jehovah?
Jerusalem. The city gates are now within sight. A traveler sighs, and it ripples through the caravan like the desert wind assaulting their tent walls. Then, softly at first, now stronger... a voice. Calling out to Jehovah. The sing-song cadence of the mercy request swells in volume. The children now join their parents in recitation.
Direction. Mercy. Our fill of scorn. Lord hear us! We have no other place to turn - You are the guidance we desperately need. Hear us from Your throne, O sovereign Lord!