As we begin this new year, we should take the time to meditate on where we’re headed. I want to use this post to give you some thoughts to pray on.
For many years, I’ve had a tradition when it comes to the New Year. I’ve only posted about it a few times, but I want to start making it a yearly thing.
A long time ago, I noticed that since 1901, the Psalms have pretty much lined up with what was happening in world events. For at least 20 years, I’ve been using them to prepare me, and those under my ministry, for the year ahead.
Last year, I noticed something that I find very interesting. With the global pandemic that started in 2019, a majority of Christians stopped attending church in-person. Coinciding with that, from Psalm 120 on, are what’s known as the Psalms of ascent. That means they are Psalms calling God’s people to meet together. Hmmmm!
In last year’s post, I showed a call to return to in-person meetings. Unfortunately, there are large groups of believers who still don’t meet together for whatever reasons. To read last year’s post, click here.
Psalm 123 is the Psalm of Ascent for 2023. That’s what I want to talk about in this post. It’s up to you whether or not you see it as a prep for the coming year.
I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.
Psalm 123:1-2 NIV
This Psalm begins with an acknowledgment that God is higher than we are. We need to start looking up – seeking His face. This has to be done in the humility of a servant’s heart.
That in itself is an important concept. We look to the Lord’s hand. The Hebrew language distinguishes between an open hand and a closed hand. In the above verse, we look to the open hand of our Lord.
We need to understand this because an open hand is significant in Scripture. An open hand speaks of power, means, and direction. All of these things are to be sought from the hand of God.
This is where the Holy Spirit is leading us in the coming year. That is, if we’re willing to seek His face. That’s the place where we obtain mercy.
In this verse, the Hebrew word for mercy literally means that a superior being is bending or stooping in kindness to an inferior, in order to bestow favor on them. This is where the Lord wants us to be positioned.
However, the question this brings up is; why – why do we need this divine impartation at this time? The Psalm gives us the answer, although you may not want to hear it.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.
Psalm 123:3-4 NIV
This cry for mercy is because of the attitude of the world around us. These verses say that our lives will be abundantly filled with disrespect, contempt, and ridicule.
Our society has already begun this type of assault against true, Bible believing Christians. I believe that it will ramp up this year. Some of it is deserved for our timid service to Christ.
I believe that God is allowing this in order to get our attention. We need to get back to a lifestyle of seeking God’s face. We must let 2023 be a year of pressing into the Holy Spirit.
Question: How deep is your walk with the Lord?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi
January 2, 2023 at 8:30 AM
January 4, 2023 at 9:19 AM
This is a great encouragement and call to action for the new year!