Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of Kedar! Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war. —Psalm 120:5-7

Psalm 120 gives us a number of examples of different ways that God uses to get our attention. Meshech and Kedar symbolize places where we do not like to have to live. Are you living in the "wrong" place? Perhaps you are feeling a little sorry for yourself. But maybe God has put you there so that you will value what really matters. Because of an unhappy situation, where things just aren't the way you would like them to be, God gets your attention. He can also use danger, delay, or discord to get our attention.

Meshech and Kedar also symbolize places of danger. Kedar, for example, refers to the Bedouins who were a perpetual problem to the travelers. Are you one of those people who enjoy living on the edge of danger, but now find yourself in trouble?

Another part of the distress, delay, is found in verse 6: "Too long have I lived among those who hate peace." Perhaps your distress is because of a prolonged situation. You have waited and waited for the situation to change. In reality, however, all this time perhaps God has been waiting for you to turn to Him.

God also uses discord to get our attention: "I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war" (v. 7). Are you in such a situation of discord? Perhaps your marriage is on the rocks; perhaps you are living somewhere where there is nothing but tension. God can use discord to get your attention.

What makes for peace is when we come to terms with the fact that the problem is not merely the situation but our reaction to the situation. A man of peace will defuse heated situations, not adding to their misery. Such a man can do this because internally he has discovered and experienced "perfect peace" (Isa. 26:3). It is called the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7, KJV).

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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