As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master . . . so our eyes look to the Lord our God. (Ps. 123:2)
In the movie Gladiator, Maximus has just finished a brutal battle in the Colosseum, when the emperor, Commodus, comes to meet him. After Maximus threatens revenge on Commodus for murdering his wife and family, Commodus’ soldiers surround Maximus and the other slave-warriors, spears at the ready. The crowd begins to chant, “Live! Live! Live!” Commodus slowly raises his fist in the air. A simple turn of the wrist, resulting in thumb up or down, would determine Maximus’ fate and his comrades’ fate. Maximus and company watched Commodus’ hand closely as it slowly turns, thumb out and coming to rest pointed up. They live to see another day.
The psalmist, crying out to God because of the contempt of his enemies, used the image in Psalm 123:2 to describe his longing for God to act. The psalmist, like Maximus, looked expectantly to the hand of his Master to determine his fate. Implicit was a deep faith that trusts God can and will show mercy. As the slave is powerless to save himself, so the psalmist was powerless in the face of his enemies. He looked to his Master for strength.
Our faith ought to be marked by expectancy and dependence on God’s power and mercy. God holds each of our lives in the palm of his hands, and our proper response is to praise him and trust that he knows what’s best.
Look to God alone for strength, acknowledging your utter dependence on him.
Noah Cromer serves as a residence director on Southern Wesleyan University’s campus (SC), along with his wife, Kaitlin, and daughter, Elianna.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.