Psalm 120

It is often the lot of the innocent that there are those who carry on malicious designs against them under the color of friendship.
In such distresses we always have recourse to God, who, being the God of Truth,
will certainly be the protection of His people from lying lips and will baffle the enemy at last.

1 In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.

2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.

3 What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?

4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!

6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.

7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

Psalm 120 – Where to Find Help

   This is the first of the “Songs of Degrees.” It has been suggested that they were pilgrim-songs to beguile the journeys from all parts of the country to the great annual feasts. They have been associated with the reign of the good Hezekiah. Mesech and Kedar are typical enemies, who forced their way into the kingdom of Judah and vexed the people of God. They are compared to sharp swords and arrows in Psalm 57:4; 64:3, but now in turn they shall be pierced and scorched. How many who start on a pilgrimage to the Celestial City must run a similar gauntlet! Their enemies arise from their own household. In such distress of soul, prayer is our only hope, Psalm 120:1. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 120:5—Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!

​   It is a bitter experience to have to live where there is no sympathy, but carping criticism and incessant innuendo. A pure-minded friend was recounting to me the other day the anguish he suffered perpetually, because his associates, knowing how acutely he suffered from the least suggestions of impurity, chose to assault his ears continually with abominable expressions. There are souls which have long had their dwelling with those that hate peace. To their least sigh war is the immediate response.
   O lily among thorns, this is no new experience! Thy Lord hath been through these paths before thee; see the bent twigs which prove that He has passed this way. But thy loneliness can never be quite as sorrowful as his, for thou hast always Him. And remember, there is a compensation, in that the strict scrutiny of thy foes makes thee ever so much more watchful and prayerful, and drives thee oftener to the bosom of God. One declared to me lately that he had found it easier to live a holy life in a City warehouse than in a Divinity college. Perhaps we gain much more than we know from jealous opposition and criticism.

       “Oft in Life’s stillest shade reclining,
       In desolation unrepining,
       Without a hope on earth to find
       A mirror in an answering mind,
       Meek souls there are who little deem
       Their daily strife an Angel’s theme.”

   But as the saintly Samuel Rutherford wrote: “The Cross of Christ is the sweetest burden that I ever bore: it is such a burden as are wings to a bird, and sails to a ship, to carry me forward to my desired haven.” —Our Daily Homily