123. To You, O LORD, I Lift My Eyes

1 To you, O LORD, I lift my eyes,
to you enthroned above the skies.
As servants watch their master's hand,
or maidens by their mistress stand,
so to the LORD our eyes we raise,
until his mercy he displays.

2 O LORD our God, your mercy show,
for human pride and scorn we know.
Reproach and shame your saints endure
from sinners who appear secure.
To you, O LORD, I lift my eyes,
to you enthroned above the skies.

Text Information
First Line: To you, O LORD, I lift my eyes
Title: To You, O LORD, I Lift My Eyes
Meter: 88 88 88
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Laments; Marriage; Profession of Faith (5 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1887, alt.
Tune Information
Name: SARAH (Huffman)
Composer: Hughes M. Huffman (1976)
Meter: 88 88 88
Key: F Major
Copyright: Tune © 1976, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of the USA. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press.

Text Information:

A prayer to the LORD to sustain his people in the face of the world’s contempt.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4, 1

Another of fifteen "Songs of Ascents" (120-134) the Israelites sang as they went up to worship at the temple in Jerusalem, Psalm 123 is a brief, well-balanced prayer in which Israel looks up to the mighty God enthroned in heaven to ask for mercy. Like slaves who look to their masters for help (st. 1), the saints plead for rescue in the face of contempt and ridicule by the arrogant world powers around them (st. 2). The versification of Psalm 123 derives from both the 1871 Book of Psalms (st. 1) and the 1912 Psalter (st. 2). Verse 1 of the psalm serves as a thematic frame for the two stanzas.

Liturgical Use:
Whenever the Christian church prays for mercy, especially in the face of the world's Contempt and persecution.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Hughes M. Huffman's SARAH first appeared in Hymns II (1976) as a setting for Henry Collins's text “Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All.” He wrote the tune for that text in 1975 and named it in memory of his sister, who died in 1974, only three years after receiving her doctorate in organ from Yale University. The tune was first sung in 1976 at Christ Church, Oak Brook, Illinois, where Huffman served as minister of music from 1965-1977. SARAH sings well in harmony because it has repeated melodic and rhythmic motives.

Huffman (b. Morganton, NC, 1942) received his education at Wheaton College, Illinois; Northern Baptist Seminary, Oak Brook, Illinois; and Northern Illinois University, De Kalb. He was coeditor of the InterVarsity Hymns II (1976) and Carols (1978). Since 1988 he has been minister of music at the First Presbyterian Church of Covina, California. He has composed over twenty hymn tunes and arrangements.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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