Reading: Psalm 123
Verse One: “I lift my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.”
The Psalm today begins by acknowledging that we look up to God whom we envision in heaven, seated on the throne. It is a position we are comfortable with – God up there, us down here. This vision fits into our schemata of an all-powerful, almighty God who reigns over all. This is the type of God we imagine we have. This God is the God that can do anything. It is the expectation conveyed in the opening line: “I lift my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.”
The next verse sees the relationship differently. Now our eyes look to our master or to our mistress. We now have the eyes of a slave or maid. This is perhaps a less comfortable way to look up to God. To properly understand this image we must understand the context of the times in which this was written. Slaves and maids lived in the house of the master or mistress, right alongside the rest of the family. The slave or maid was given food, a bed, and usually spent time in community with the family. They were an extension of the family in most cases. Yes, there was a subservient nature to the relationship, but it was also a relationship of love and care. The slave or maid desired to please the master or mistress, much as a child desires to please their parent.
When we see God as our master or mistress it changes out perspective. As almighty God in charge of it all, there is a separation or distance between us. In some ways this view is perhaps safer, less threatening. As a slave or maid, we are right in there with God. We are walking and living our day to day life right there with God. It is a very intimate and personal way to look at our relationship with God. It is a “hold your hand” relationship instead of a “look up to heaven” relationship. It is a relationship of mutual dependency. It is a relationship built upon God’s love and care for us and our personally serving God. In what ways will we live out this intimate, personal relationship with God today?