Plea for Relief (Psalm 120)


A Song of Ascents.

1 In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me.
2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue.

3 What shall be given to you,
Or what shall be done to you,
You false tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the warrior,
With coals of the broom tree!

5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,
That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
7 I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.

Beginning a new psalm in this blog, we see a Song of Ascents is the genre of this writing.  Each of the psalms 120 – 134 have this title, which seems to signify that the Jewish pilgrims sang them as they came to Jerusalem for one of the three major annual festivals.  They ascended Mount Moriah(Zion) in Jerusalem to come to the temple.  The very first phrase is seen more than once in the Scriptures, and is a well-known faith statement.  When I cry, God hears me.  The writer believes in the power of God to save him or her.  The writer then moves to a curse of his oppressor, wishing arrows to destroy the enemy.  The psalmist then bemoans the fact that he lives in Meshech and Kedar, foreign lands associated with pagan worship.  This gives rise to the assumption that this psalm was written while the psalmist was in exile or captivity under Assyria or Babylon.  He seeks peace, not war.

Many times, Christians today find themselves in a place of oppression, whether economic, ideological, or physical.  When dwelling among enemies, especially bloodthirsty enemies, do not fear calling upon the Lord.  This writer encourages us that God will hear our prayers, and will answer.  Trust in the Lord in spite of persecution or oppression, and know that He is present to hear you and respond to your plight!

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