A WAKE-UP CALL                                                                  Psalm 120:5-7

“Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of kedar!” (v5)

It is interesting, as Eugene Peterson highlights, that one of the first words in this psalm is distress and the last word is war. From start to finish the psalmist pours out his heart to God concerning the pain he feels at living in a world full of deceitfulness and living.

The reference he makes to Meshech and kedar is designed to show how difficult it was for him to be living with people who acted more like foreigners than friends. The tribe of Meshech lived between the Black Sea and the  Caspian Sea and kedar were Arabian nomads.

They typified barbarian society and represented the strange and the hostile. So the psalmist is implying that the people in his community treated him more like an outsider than one of themselves. “I am a man of peace,” he says, but those around me seem to be bent on hostility and combat! Paraphrased his words might read like this: “I live in the midst of people who behave like barbarians.” This complaint is made not simply to give vent to his feelings but to let his pain motivate him to move from confidence in people to confidence in God. His anguish penetrates through his despair and stimulates him to make a new beginning. The first word we need to remember then as we set out on our journey into the New Year is renunciation. It is the wake-up call we need to get us moving. The rejection is also an acceptance, the leaving and arriving, the “No” to the world, a “Yes” to God.

PRAYER LINE: Father, help me realize that I am called to be a pilgrim, not a tourist. I renounce all the world’s false assumptions to follow the path of truth. Thank You my Father. Amen (EDWJ)


A Christian’s  life is the window through which others can see Jesus.

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