Psalm 120:1-7 CSB – 1 In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. 2 “LORD, rescue me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.” 3 What will he give you, and what will he do to you, you deceitful tongue? 4 A warrior’s sharp arrows with burning charcoal! 5 What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar! 6 I have dwelt too long with those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.
Meshech and Kedar (foreign, often barbaric tribes who were hostile enemies of Israel)
Those who hate peace
Is it any wonder that the psalmist is in distress (trouble, affliction, adversity)?! Have you been there?
family relationships strained and/or fractured by lies, deceit, misunderstanding
social media that seems to look for a fight
hostility from the culture
hostility and arguments within the church
even — here it comes — the lies I choose to believe about myself, about who God is, about His sovereignty and His work in this world
Where do we go with this distress? Verse 1 — call to the Lord . . .
Psalm 25:4-5 CSB – 4 Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long.
God’s ways, God’s truth, God’s instruction, God’s place of refuge, are in His Word. I don’t read and study His Word for some self-help, magic potion, entitlement. No, I meditate, memorize, read, study because I want to know the God who made me, the God who saved me, the God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. He created me; He knows what is best for me. I want to learn His ways. I want to know the truth. I want to know how to obey Him.
As I become “transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2),” like the psalmist, I become more aware of the effect of my surroundings, my relationships, where my time and energy is spent.
This proverb came to mind:
Proverbs 13:20 CSB – 20 The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.
No, I am not saying, go hide out in a little cabin, totally cut off from the world (although, the introvert in me sometimes thinks that wouldn’t be such a bad thing). Actually, having godly relationships is vital to combating the Meshech and Kedar, the lying lips and deceitful tongue, the sharp arrows, etc. Ask God to show you how to be a godly friend, and then watch how He will bring friends/family in His timing. But here is the best friend, the most loyal, the most true, the perfect friend who you will always have:
Psalm 25:14 ESV – 14 The friendship* of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
*Strong’s H5475 – cowd — intimate friendship, tight circle of friends. Some translations use the term ‘secret counsel’
And, in all honesty, take a cue from the psalmist. How much time and energy are you spending with the constant war that is social media? For me, it meant deciding to spend time in the Word and prayer before opening Facebook and Twitter. . . and holding up my feelings and “truth” to the light of God’s Word and deciding that I will believe God.
It’s not fancy — but God is faithful. He is holy. He is right.
Psalm 18:30-31 CSB – 30 God – his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is a rock? Only our God.
And praise Him, He has rescued me . . .
4 thoughts on “Some Random Thoughts on Psalm 120”
So timely! I needed that today! Thank you!
My goal each morning is to spend time in His word before checking Facebook and news feeds. I need His words in my heart and mind to be the filter for everything else that comes my way.
Thanks for these words of encouragement!
Thanks for this reminder. Even though you wrote it a couple months ago, it was what I needed today.
I need the reminder quite frequently, to be honest. . .