Our Help Comes from the Lord
Topic: Morning Sermons Scripture: Psalm 121:1–121:8
Psalm 121 is the second of fifteen Psalms, beginning at 120 through to 134 that have this title: A Song of Ascents...
While there are several theories about what the expression, “A Song of Ascents” might mean, most scholars agree that this expression refers to the idea of ascending to Jerusalem. If you were to travel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, you would note that you are going up, so that when you reach Jerusalem you are approximately 2500 feet above sea level. More than likely, these psalms are grouped together as a collection of psalms that pilgrims might well have sung as they journeyed from their homes for one of the great festivals, like Passover, Pentecost, or the Day of Atonement.
In Psalm 121, the psalmist’s vision is set firmly on the final goal, Jerusalem, and Zion, the hill of God. The psalm begins with a question, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” (v. 1). The question is answered immediately, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (v. 2).
In the rest of the Psalm, however, the psalmist does more than make that general statement about God. The psalmist reminds us that that God keeps His people, and the verb to keep is repeated six times in the eight verses of the psalm.
- God keeps our footing and He never slumbers or sleeps (vv. 3, 4): “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
- God keeps us as One who is always with us (vv. 5, 6): “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
- God keeps us safe from harm, and He keeps us sheltered: (vv. 7, 8): “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”