Woe Is Me, That I Dwell In Meshech

By Pastor Mitch
August 03, 2018

Young people, have you struggled with being far away from the Lord?  I am sure that all of us have these moments when we feel that we are very distant from Him.  This was something that the Psalmist grappled with when he wrote Psalm 120.   Psalm 120 is the first in a series of Psalms called “The Songs of Ascents”.    They consist Psalm 120 to Psalm 134.   They were songs that the pilgrims would sing as they made their way up to Jerusalem.  As they begin their pilgrimage to Mount Zion, they would often feel distant from God.

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar.  My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace but when I speak, they are for war.”  Psalm 120:5-7

There are two problems highlighted.

  1. Being physically far from Jerusalem.

Meschech was known to be a place somewhere northwest of Asia Minor.  The tents of Kedar were the tents of tribal people who lived in Arabia at that time.  These places were geographically far from Jerusalem.  For the Jews, being physically far from the place of worshipping God affected them.

  1. Feeling spiritually far from the Lord.

Because he was dwelling in the tents of the “world”, he was influenced by the people he stayed with.   The Psalmist had dwelt with people who were filled with sin.  They had lying lips and a deceitful tongue.   They were people who were filled with anger.    He too struggled with the problem of anger and lying.  He struggled with speaking words of “war”.  He felt that he was spiritually far from God.  That is why he wrote “Woe is me…”.  There was a deep sense of sorrow for his sins and his spiritual state.


In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me.  Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2

The Psalmist response to God was to cry out to him.   He felt tremendous sorrow and distress in his heart as he struggled with being geographically and spiritually far from the Lord.  And as he sought to make his way to Jerusalem, he also sought to make his way back to God.  He cried out to Him in his distress and He mercifully heard him.  He must have cried out to God for forgiveness and for restoration of closeness with the Lord.   He sought for deliverance of his own soul from sins of the people.   Young people, perhaps, we too feel spiritually distant from the Lord because we have been influenced by the people of the world. Let’s seek to return to Him.  Let’s cry out to Him for forgiveness and restoration. Let’s seek closeness with our God once again.