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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 123

Verses 1-4

PSALM 123

The exercises of the godly when faced with the contempt and scorn of men of the world.

With the blessedness of the house of the Lord and the city of Jerusalem filling the soul ( Ps. 122 ), the godly decide to face the pilgrim journey that leads to the city of God. Such a decision, however, on the part of a feeble remnant calls forth the contempt and scorn of the ease-loving and proud men of the world. The same decision of faith will lead to like results in this the Christian day. The believer who enters into the blessedness of the House of God, and the heavenly calling, will most readily take up the pilgrim path though only to find that he is in contempt with those who have their portion in this life.

(v. 1) His own weakness, together with the contempt of the world, only serves to call into exercise the faith of the godly man. Sustaining grace is found in turning his eyes to the One that dwells in the heavens.

(v. 2) The one who thus turns to the Lord takes the place of subjection, looking to the Lord for His guidance, even as servants wait upon their Master to direct them by a motion of the hand. With this subjection there is the perseverance that waits for the Lord's gracious direction; for the godly look to the Lord, “until he be gracious to us” (JND).

(vv. 3-4) The closing verses present the prayer in which the godly man appeals to the Lord for needed grace, and spreads out the grief that fills his soul. Grace gives the soul to look to the Lord with quiet patience: nevertheless, the reproach of the world is deeply felt. Twice the godly man speaks of being “exceedingly filled” with the contempt and scorn of the world. The contempt speaks of their attitude towards God's people; the scorn, of their open derision.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 123". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-123.html. 1832.