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Devotional

(From Scripture Union)

Pray

Lord, thank You for being there when I need You.

Read

Psalm 120
In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me. 2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, You deceitful tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With the burning coals of the broom tree. 5 Woe is me, for I sojourn in Meshech, For I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 Too long has my soul had its dwelling With those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace, but when I speak, They are for war.

Meditate

Consider

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7).

Think Further

I like the German word Weltschmerz. It means something like feeling the pain of the world, being tired of what is going on around us, and wanting to "stop the world and get off." Most of us feel it at some point, and it fairly well sums up how the psalmist feels here. As this is the first of the psalms known as "songs of ascent," it is reasonable to suppose that the writer longs to be in the temple at Jerusalem, where peace reigns (7). The "ascent" referred to is the journey to Jerusalem, in which one embarks from the coastal plain or the Judean desert, ascending all the way to Mount Zion. It is the pilgrimage made by millions over the years. The psalmist, however is away from his spiritual home. Meshek and Kedar (5) stand for Gentile lands away from the homeland. Here he is surrounded by hostile voices, lies and deceit (2) and by a bellicose people (7). He does not fit in. This environment grieves him. Psalm 121 logically follows his current sentiments, but that is for next week. For the moment let us stick with the Weltschmerz. Is that perhaps what you feel at the moment? It is not an unreasonable emotion. The world can be a painful place. The psalms are tenaciously honest in showcasing a wide range of human emotions. Not everything we feel is praiseworthy, but it is better to be honest about the negatives rather than suppress them and allow them to fester. The psalmist could seek resolution and help by journeying to Jerusalem, but to where might we go? Pilgrimages can be helpful, but our temple is now no longer a place but a person.

Apply

Meditate on this profound truth: "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him" (Col. 1:19). What implications does this have for the world?

Pray

Lord, I know that this world is not my home. Help me to endure what this world throws at me as I continue to trust You.


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