I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121 - NASB)
There are three concepts in this short psalm that appears to be of interest to the psalmist. First, the LORD is our helper (1-3). Jerusalem (Zion) was in view of mountain ranges, a view that reminded one of the glory, majesty, and strength of Jehovah. The eternal hills drew attention to the purposes of God, to his divine attributes, his immutable promises, his covenant faithfulness, his providential care, and his proven loving-kindness (hesed). The psalmist looked to the strong for strength. The question posed in verse 1 is answered in verse 2. “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” The maker of heaven and earth or the God of creation must be viewed not so much in the context of the cosmos with emphasis on the creation itself, but rather, on the creator. He is the source of life. This formula is part of the liturgy in Israel’s worship. For examples: Psalms 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:4; 146:6. In all of these psalms, there appears to be no concern of how the earth came into existence, but they point to the present help or blessing of God. Creation faith says something about the helper, that is, the One who made heaven and earth.
What we need today is help. Powerful help, efficient help, constant help, a very present help in time of trouble. The help we need is from the source of life to give us buoyancy and joy in the trials of a pandemic. Second, the LORD is our Keeper. (4-5). “Keeper of Israel” is a profound thought. God will keep not only a nation or community; He can also keep an individual. “He who keeps you will not slumber.” He is not a deep sleeper or a light sleeper; He never sleeps at all. His watchful eyes are on us to keep guard over his people. He keeps us from the enemy of our soul; He does so night and day. His garrison is there to keep us from dangers seen and unseen.
Which bring us to the third concept, the LORD is our protector (preserver) (7-8). He will protect you from all evil; He will guard your soul. He will protect our interior life from the power and toxicity of sin. He can help us preserve our integrity. We do not have to compromise with the values of this world. He is our shield, our defense against the stronghold of the enemy. What a wonderful Savior! His abiding watch-care over his people, encompasses our going out and our coming in. It spans from this time forth and forever. (v.8; Deut. 28:6).
The LORD Jehovah is our helper, our keeper, and our protector. No matter what stage you are in your pilgrimage, whether you are starting, in the middle, or nearing the end, I encourage you to have the “creation faith” of the psalmist and realize the fullness of God’s help, his keeping, and protective power at your disposal. Praise His name.
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, Oh, abide with me.
(Henry F. Lyte, “Abide with Me,” 1820)
Dr. Joe Warrington, NBC Faculty and Pastor
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 05/04/2020