We have discussed several times how urgently we need God's mercy. We don't always want justice, because of our shortcomings; but we want mercy and forgiveness. The fact that the psalmist asks twice for mercy shows the seriousness of the request.
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud. (Ps. 123)
Contempt, in this particular instance, means at least disrespect, but it could also mean outright bitterness. The contempt the psalmist faces was from those around him who had no respect for him, who were bitter and hateful in their dealings with him. Perhaps it was because they felt they were better than him; perhaps it was because of the psalmist's belief in God. The years go by, but when it comes to human relationships we don't seem to change that much, do we? We still judge others, look down on others, think we know more than others. And others do the same to us. This psalm reminds us to keep our eyes on God and remember to focus more on our own need for mercy and less on others.
Prayer: God, have mercy on me; when I do not love others as you love them, have mercy. I know that you love all of your children, even when they don't love you or even deny your existence. Help me to focus more on you and less on what others think or say. Help me to live my life in a way that honors you and brings others to see and experience your amazing love and mercy. Amen.