As A Puppy Watches His Master’s Hand

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
Psalm 123 (ESV)
Whenever I read Psalm 123 I can’t help but think of our miniature dachshund, Luther. Two things will cause Luther to fix his eyes on my hands with laser beam focus: a toy to fetch and a treat to eat. When we play fetch, Luther never takes his eyes off of my hands until they launch the rope or ball. Then he runs full speed in the direction my hand moves to toss the toy. When Luther knows that I have a treat, he locks my hand in his sights, waiting for the good stuff to be delivered. As a puppy’s eyes are fixed on his master’s hand, anticipating a command or even a cookie, so I long to look to the hand of my Master, to receive His bidding as well as His blessing.

Like Luther, I want my eyes riveted on my Master’s hands, waiting to move in the direction He gestures, waiting for morsels of mercy to fall. I want to be a servant who watches and waits for his Master’s every move and mercy. I want to be ready to serve Him, accomplishing whatever He wills for me to do. But I also stand ready to receive mercy from His hand whenever He is pleased to give it. I must watch and wait for His hand to point me toward His will, to send me out to accomplish some task or pursue some relationship that will further the advancement of His Kingdom. But I desperately need His mercy in order to move.

I must anxiously look to Jesus’ nail-pierced hands for the undeserved kindness that provides the resources, both spiritual and physical, that I will need to accomplish His mission. I need to look to Jesus, who has lived and died in my place, has been raised to new life, and is now seated next to His Father “enthroned in the heavens.” From there He is subduing enemies who scorned Him with arrogant contempt and even now are harassing me. United with Christ by faith, I am seated with Him there in the heavenlies. Thanks be to God! Holy Spirit, fasten my eyes on Christ, on His nail-pierced hands, that I might run at His command and receive mercy for the mission.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord. Have mercy upon us!

2 thoughts on “As A Puppy Watches His Master’s Hand

  1. Great devotion, but the real Luther beat you to it.
    When Luther’s puppy [n. 116, Luther’s dog Tölpel is mentioned again and again in the Table Talk.] happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he [Martin Luther] said, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.
    Luther’s Works, Volume 54, Table Talk (Philadelphia: 1967), pp. 37, 38. May 18, 1532

  2. Wow! That’s amazing. Thanks so much for this info and for the reference to find it. Wish I had known this before…it makes it all the more interesting.

    We actually did name our little German puppy after the original famous German Luther.

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