Weds 23 December - Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm –
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and for evermore.
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Meditation on Psalm 121
We are now back in the ‘songs of ascents’ group of Psalms. These are very likely linked to the great annual festival processions to Jerusalem.
- Psalm 84:5’blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.’
Read Micah 4:1-3.
Read Zechariah 14:16.
Imagine how you would feel if you could only go up to worship once each year. There is no booking-in system online, giving you choices. It’s been hard enough not being able to get out during this year but, at least we have been able to connect with each other via the internet. We also know that we have access to the throne of God at any time of day or night and we can bring our worship to Him.
As they make their way to Jerusalem, they will pass by mountains and, no doubt, look up at them as the Psalmist says in verse 1, ‘I will lift up my eyes to the mountains…’
Derek Tidball comments on this: ‘this opening statement is a conundrum. In saying he lifts his eyes to the mountains, the Psalmist may mean one of two very different things. En route to Jerusalem, the pilgrims pass mountains where non-Israelites worship their idols. Is he saying, by contrast to them, his faith is not in mountain idols but in the living God?
Or, since his destination is Mount Zion, are the mountains symbolic of the ageless, rock-solid God who created them?’
Perhaps that’s why he asks the question, “Where does my help come from?”
Notice there are two voices speaking in this Psalm. In the opening two verses the speaker is asking the rhetorical question and then giving the answer as to where help comes from.
In verses 3-8 the second speaker is responding to the question.
There is the confidence and a personal testimony in response to the question – “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Pause again – do you, do I, have the same unshakeable confidence and testimony as to where my help comes from.
Christmas is a great time to renew that confidence for, as the song says, ‘He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all.’ The Maker of heaven and earth has come down in human form in the person of Jesus to bring us into a relationship with Himself so that we can call on Him for His help at any time and in any situation.
Yes, any time. How do I know that? Verses 3-4 tell me that He never slumbers or sleeps and it is He who ‘watches over us.’ That promise comes three times in these verses.
Perhaps there are times in our lives when it seems as if he is asleep because we get no answer from Him.
(I have just finished reading an amazing book by Pete Greig – he founded the 24/7 Prayer ministry. His book is called ‘God on mute.’)
This was the challenge Elijah gave to the prophets of when they were crying out to their god on top of Mount Carmel. After some period of silence, Elijah made various suggestions as to why there was no answer coming. Read I Kings 17:27.
This is not the case with our God, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He watches over us; He protects us; He keeps us.
And, as the Psalm ends, we are reminded that the LORD will never stop watching over us. What a great assurance as we go forward into the New Year.
Thursday 24 December - Psalm 122
Friday 25 December - Psalm 123
Saturday 26 December - Psalm 124
Sunday 27 December - Psalm 125
Monday 28 December - Psalm 126
Tuesday 29 December- Psalm 127