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Psalm 120: I Called, You Answered (SQR Devo)

SQRP Devotional from Psalm 120 -- I called and you answered me.
Psalm 120: I Called, You Answered (SQR Devo)
Photo by Oliver Roos / Unsplash


Psalm 120

1 To Yahweh, when I was under pressure,
I called and you answered me.

2 Yahweh, rescue my life from false lips
from a deceitful tongue

3 What will it give you,
what will it add to you, deceitful tongue?

4 The arrows of a strong man, sharpened,
with coals of broom shrubs.

5 Oh for me, that I've resided with Meshek,
dwelt with Qedar's tents.

6 A long time I've been dwelling
with someone hostile to peace.

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

[Psalm 120, The Bible For Everyone (bold and italics mine)]


"I am sure that the bit of the road that most requires to be illuminated is the point where it forks."

(John Baillie, as quoted by Eugene Peterson in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p. 22)


Psalm 120 is the first of 15 Psalms of Ascent, which may have been sung as pilgrims climbed the hill into Jerusalem. For people of that day, this pilgrimage was an experience of worship and devotion to God as they approached the Jerusalem temple. Singing the praises of God along the way was an integral part of the journey.

For us, too, our Christian journey is a path of wholeness as we seek to continually grow in Christlikeness, even through the ups and downs of life. Like the Psalmist, we live among people who do not know God (Meshek and Qedar, v. 5). We, too, can be confident that God hears our prayers and answers according to God's will (v. 1), even in the most difficult circumstances.

The ideal Israelite was the one who sought peace (v. 7) and worked for the good of the community in which they lived, even when they lived as exiles in foreign lands (Jer 29:11). We, too, though we may live among ungodly people, are called to be peacemakers – people of peace who actively work for the good of our neighborhood, community, city, and nation.

When we put our hope in the next election, the next big scientific breakthrough, or in our accumulation of wealth and resources, we find ourselves unable to risk living by faith. But the life of faith, expressed in a life filled with Christlike love for God and humanity, becomes a life of peace that infects our surroundings for the glory of God.


Heavenly Father,
Jesus Christ our Savior,
Holy Spirit, our power and strength,

Help us, your people called by your name, live peaceful lives in a world that seeks to divide and destroy. In a world that tells us who we are but omits the image of God in us, remind us that we are yours.

In a world that talks about the earth but forgets about its Creator, remind us that everything was created for your perfect plan and purpose.

In a world that values the human body but doesn't realize that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, let us remember that you live in and through us.

In a world that speaks about love but does not know that ultimate love is the sacrifice of Christ for all, give us opportunities to share the hope we have in Christ with the people we love and the people among whom we have been placed.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.