We have had more than enough of contempt.’ (3)
Two themes are mingled in this song of ascent: the psalmist declares trust in divine love and protection — ‘To you I lift my eyes… (1)’ — while hoping for mercy and relief from injustice. The writer is wearied by contempt and scorn from the ‘indolent rich’, tired of the ‘derision of the proud’. (3,4)
In the same sense, today’s reader may long for an ascent from persistent partisan patterns of political power play. The song invites the hearer to turn to a more benevolent authority, seeking a time of mercy when the dominance of the proud and rich might be countered.
Progress against oppression, injustices and contempt for ethical behaviour amongst those in power, whether indolent or not, continues to fall short of the ideal. There is work for all.
As in the scene depicted above, ascent can be forbidding. The path to justice and equity is neither straight-forward nor easy. Climbers are motivated by hope, and a belief that the effort has a divine purpose for all humanity. Often it’s a long drag against entrenched policy, public doubt and false rumour. Communities of faith, without resorting to extremism, have an important voice in moulding community standards and public awareness towards the common good.
A few simple refrains, and only a small few, are available in our song books — and Together in Song is not one of them. At South Woden we will sing one from Psalms for All Seasons 123A, with the following refrain:
Our eyes rest on you, Lord, awaiting your kindness. (verse 2)