Bible Study Resources

Each week we will post the coming week's sermon text along with a set of questions that will help you prepare for Sunday. You can also download a printable pdf version of the text and questions.

Participant Guide

Psalm 123

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.

Discussion Questions

Read the text aloud. Then, read the text to yourself quietly. Read it slowly, as if you were very unfamiliar with the story.

  1. The psalmist uses the image of a servant and a maid looking intently to their master for help. What kind of reaction does this image evoke in you? Why? 
  2. Why would the psalmist say they lift their eyes to the heavens like a servant or maid to their master or mistress? What’s the image that comes to your mind? 
  3. Have you ever had to look to someone in a position of authority or power greater than yours for help? What was the situation? How did you feel doing so? 
  4. The psalmist understands that his or her status as compared to God is small and insignificant. It’s one of a servant or maid. Do you have a hard time thinking of yourself as a servant or a maid? Why or why not? 
  5. Does thinking of ourselves as servants or maids compared to God cause you any difficulty? Why or why not? 
  6. Have you ever had to ask someone for mercy? If so, what was that like? Has anyone had to ask you for mercy? If so, what was that like, and did you grant mercy? 
  7. What does our psalmist mean by “Our soul has had more than its fill, of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud?”
  8. Who’s causing the scorn and contempt? What do you expect the psalmist hopes God will do about it?
  9. Why would a pilgrim read or sing this psalm on their way to or while at the Temple? Does the plural language change how you read the psalm? 
  10. This psalm doesn’t end on a positive note. Why is that? How does ending on a negative note make you feel? Why? 
  11. What might God be calling us to do? 
  12. What might God be calling us to become?