Bible Commentaries
Psalms 123

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2


‘Even so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.’

Psalms 123:2 (Prayer Book Version)

I. Whenever we see a master with a family of servants, we see a living parable of Almighty God and His Church; and out of their duties and behaviour to one another we may obtain much good instruction regarding our own behaviour towards Him. (1) St. Paul says, ‘Servants, be subject to your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling’; and do we not know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom, and that the very description of the temper which suits the Gospel is to have grace whereby to serve God in reverence and godly fear? (2) St. Paul bids servants be obedient to their masters in singleness of heart; that is, that in setting about their work they should simply have an eye to their masters’ service, and not rather to their own convenience and pleasure; and this, again, is the very thing so much commended in Christian people, that they should serve God in simplicity and godly sincerity. (3) The same apostle adds that what we do for our masters should be done not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; that is, we are not to have one way of doing our work when they are in sight and another when they are out of sight: and this, again, is like the care which becomes all Christians to make their conduct agree with their prayers, their weekdays with their Sundays, their ordinary behaviour with their direct service of their Lord. (4) Whereas all manner of servants among men naturally and justly look onward to the time of receiving their wages, as a hireling, according to Job’s saying, seeketh the reward of his work, so we are instructed to look on to the recompense of our eternal reward, knowing, as St. Paul goes on, that ‘whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.’

II. All the qualities of a good servant are summed up in one word: fidelity; or, as it is described by the Psalmist in the text, ‘his eyes wait upon the hand of his master.’ So the faithful and dutiful Christian, he who has true love and thankfulness to the Father and God of his whole life, does not wait for express commands, but does what he sincerely thinks his Maker will be pleased with. Such simple, unwearied obedience, not asking questions, but performing duties—this is what God delights to honour.

—Rev. J. Keble.


‘With this psalm Philip Henry was accustomed to conclude his Sabbath evening service in his own family at Broadoak. His children then knelt down around him and received his blessing. The account which his son, Matthew Henry, gives of the household is one of the fairest pictures we have from the Puritan time, and might suit the Chamber Peace in the Palace Beautiful described by Bunyan. After meat and thanks, on every Sabbath, the usual song of the family and guests was the 123rd Psalm.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 123". The Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.