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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 123

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


This Psalm seems to send forth the cries of the soul under exercises. But amidst them all, we may perceive very strong expressions of firm confidence in God.

A Song of Degrees.

Psalms 123:1

It is a blessed thing when the soul, under exercises, is going out in dependence upon the Lord. The prophet remarks, under the burden of Hadrach (by which may be understood the Lord's exercised people under their burdens), that the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be towards the Lord, Zechariah 9:1 . Hence, those many calls of the Lord to his people to be always looking unto him. Behold me! behold me! saith Jesus. Look unto me and be ye saved! Behold the Lamb of God! Isaiah 65:1 ; John 1:29 ; Isaiah 45:22 . There is a most sublime beauty in this title given to the Lord: O thou that dwellest in the heavens. See Isaiah 57:15 .

Verse 2

How do servants look unto their masters or mistresses, for everything that concerns them? For employment, direction, help, food, countenance, shelter, in short, for everything which poor needy servants, may be supposed to require. So then, but in an infinitely higher degree, would my soul look unto thee, thou blessed Lord and Master, Jesus! I need thee far more than all servants. Thou art my life, my light, my strength, my hope, my confidence, my portion, my guide, my protector, Saviour; in short, my all in all. Without thee, how, or in what shall I be employed? Who will sustain me, blessed Jesus, if thou dust not? What bread can my soul feed upon, but thou that art the bread of God, and the living bread, which cometh down from heaven. And shall I not be naked, and without a garment to cover me, to all eternity, except thou wilt clothe me with thy robe of righteousness? And who will guide me, unless thy blessed Spirit graciously condescend to direct thy poor pilgrim, through the waste and howling wilderness of this world? See, Lord! what a wretched state I am in but for thee. And shall not my eyes wait for thee with more earnestness than all the servants upon the earth are looking to their earthly masters? Yes! precious Jesus! I desire that my whole soul may be waiting for thee, More than they that watch for the morning; yea, I say, more than they that watch for the morning, Psalms 130:6 .

Verses 3-4

Reader! it is lovely not only to have our eyes directed unto Jesus, but waiting upon Jesus; not only to give in our petition to the heavenly court; but to hang about the door until the king send out an answer. Earthly beggars teach us this lesson very, powerfully. They never give over their clamorous importunity, whilst the least hope remains of being heard. But I fear that you and I too seldom follow up our petitions with holy waitings. Precious Spirit of all truth! do thou incline our hearts both to watch and pray; and gladly to hang on, and hold out, amidst every discouragement, until Jesus shall say to us, as he did to the poor woman, Be it unto thee even as thou wilt, Matthew 15:16 .

Verse 4


Oh! for faith to be looking unto Jesus as those look to the world, who live upon its smiles. My soul! hadst thou but half the concern to please thy heavenly Master, as faithful servants of the world do their earthly lords; what blessings, even from the fountain-head of happiness, wouldest thou be living upon, and in the daily enjoyment of! How will a frown from a kind master wound a loving servant; and how will a smile encourage and gladden his heart. And is there a master so kind, so loving, so gracious, so abundant in goodness, as Jesus? And yet how little dost thou live to his glory; how little are thine eyes directed to his praise, or waiting for his favor!

Blessed Jesus! let this sweet Psalm be blessed to my perusal. Henceforth, Lord, let me learn to imitate the solicitude and affection of earthly servants, who are more earnest to oblige a fellow creature, than I have been to seek thy favor, which is better than life itself. Oh! thou that dwellest in the heavens, cause my soul to be lifted up unto thee. Draw me, Lord, that I may run after thee. And let the exercises of everything I meet with here below, be sanctified to endear Jesus to my heart; that while the masters and mistresses of earthly servants have their respect and homage from those that serve them, my soul may cry out, O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid; thou hast loosed my bonds.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 123". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-123.html. 1828.
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