I grew up in the age of Simon and Garfunkel. One of my very favorite songs of theirs is “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Although I can’t imagine that the song has Christian origins, it is a song of comfort and support when times are tough. “When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I’m on your side, when times get rough …”
Psalm 121 reflects the same feelings of comfort and support in hard times, “My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth … The Lord will guard you, he is by your side to protect you” (vv. 2, 5). Although the association here is supposed to be the Israeli oppression and escape from Egypt, how many times in our lives have we felt beaten down, oppressed by circumstances, and in need of comfort? This is our assurance of God’s vigilance and protection in all times of our life. As Simon and Garfunkel say, “If you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind.”
Psalms 122 and 123 tell us how to seek a relationship with the Lord. “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the Lord’s house” (122:1). In this case it is Jerusalem, which to people of that time was the ultimate center of worship in a city of strength and importance. We are not really alone in our troubled waters when we can seek our Protector in our house of worship, as our church is a symbol of God’s strength.
Psalm 123:1 gives us our prayer:
“Lord, I look up to you, up to heaven, where you rule. As a servant depends on his master, as a maid depends on her mistress, so we will keep looking to you, O Lord our God, until you have mercy on us.” Amen.