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PSALM 120:6

Too Long
Living in a tense, loud or stressful place is exhausting. Just this mor ning I was exchanging stories with a friend about the annoying habits of people who shout into their mobile phones on the train. I was seriously tempted to start shouting into thin air this week when a passenger yelled into his phone for ten minutes - just to see what his reaction might be. Our Psalmist likely has more signicant problems than me with my commuter friend. But has he got used to living in a bad place? Rather like people who live under the ight path of an airport who claim not to notice the noise, has he been lulled into a false sense of peace for a while? It seems to me he is waking up to the problem almost as if it is new. amongst the liars so long, among those who are far from God and far from godly behaviour, that he now wants to change. While his neighbours do not want peace with God, he has come to the realisation that this is what he needs. It has been said that when we are lost we should not look at the lightening that ashes, but at the road it illuminates. Tragedy and difculty may illuminate our true spiritual state, but we must not dwell on those issues, but instead on the way forward that the light has revealed. The Psalmist has problems (the liars of verses 2-4) but he realises that his bigger problem is where he is at. It is time to move on. but it is worth it. We never fully arrive on this earth, but we are going somewhere better (like the pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem). Final and full peace is found in Jesus as this old hymn makes clear. If peace is your desire why not pray through this hymn and move on?
Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin: The blood of Jesus whispers peace within. Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed: To do the will of Jesus, this is rest. Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round: On Jesus bosom naught but calm is found. Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away: In Jesus keeping we are safe, and they. Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown: Jesus we know, and He is on the throne. It is enough; earths struggles soon shall cease, And Jesus calls us to heavens perfect peace.

There comes a time to reject the present situation, like Abram leaving Mesopotamia and Moses leaving Egypt. This is more than a moving on, it is a rejection of what currently is, what surrounds us, what is normal. This itself causes pain,


Sometimes the way to peace is through repentance, and this is what might be happening here. Perhaps this cry of despair is an expression of repentance. He has lived

Malcolm Cox, email: malcolm.cox@iccmissions.org | ICC Missions on facebook | www.nwlcc.org