A Season of Psalms - Psalm 120:5-7
“Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!”
English Standard Version (ESV)
McDonald’s is a popular restaurant for children…and birds. You can be eating peacefully outside and there’s not a bird in sight. Drop one French fry and it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds all over again. They descend on it squeaking and squawking. I’ve always wondered what birds are saying when they spot a French fry on the ground. Whatever they’re saying, it’s completely unintelligible. You can’t understand it.
In Psalm 120, the first in a series of “Songs of Ascents,” the psalmist finds himself among a people who don’t understand peace. In fact, they despise it. Not only are they peace-haters, but they are prone to slander as well. In everything, they speak the language of hatred and distrust, and thus the psalmist pleads for God’s deliverance (v. 1-2) and vengeance (v. 3-4) upon Meshech and Kedar, foreign and dangerous peoples in Eastern Asia and Arabia, respectively. Like the psalmist, we find ourselves living in a culture that doesn’t share the same values that we highly esteem. What is the answer? Not indifference or hate, but prayer. Jesus commanded us to “pray for those who persecute you.” James 5:16 says that “the prayer of a righteous man has great power as it is working.” We can’t hope to win the culture for Christ if we’re not willing to spend time on our knees. In a culture gone wrong, the right thing to do…the best course of action…is to pray. Alfred Lord Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
“You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed” (John Bunyan). Have you prayed today for God to do a mighty work in our culture? Revivals have been known to start with the fervent prayers of just one person; is that you? Will you pray for revival?
Further Reading: Acts 4:23-31; Matthew 6:7-13
Pray with me:
God of grace and God of glory, on Thy people pour Thy power. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.