Psalm 121:1-8 NLT
“I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
I love this Psalm. It’s short, but so rich in treasures of truth about who our God is:
The Lord is My Helper.
Sometimes I hear people quote this scripture from other versions that make it sound as though, if we lift our eyes to the hills, that’s where our help comes from – as if God was somewhere up there in those distant hills. But it is God, who made those very hills, who is our helper. He is ‘an ever present help in time of trouble’. (Psalm 46:1) Not a far off distant God ‘up there’ somewhere.
We just need to lift our eyes to God; There’s something about that action of lifting your head, and your eyes and looking upwards, that is much more than just symbolic. It’s a heart statement in action. A heartfelt belief and absolute knowledge that God will help, put into action by the simple act of raising your eyes to him.
And I believe God will always respond. Jeremiah 33:3 says ‘call to me and I will answer you’ James 4:8 says ‘draw near to God and he will draw near to you’.
It takes an action on our part, but God always responds and is ever our helper.
He Watches Over Me
‘The One who watches you will not slumber…’
I remember, years ago, the time my oldest son Rory who is now in his twenties, had croup. I was literally afraid for his life. I listened to my tiny baby son struggling for each breath and was afraid he wouldn’t take his next. So I tried to sit up and watch him all night. Of course I failed. I’m human. I drifted off a few times and woke up to Rory’s rattling, ragged breathing, my own heart pounding.
God, your loving Father, watches you constantly. Even while you sleep, he never sleeps. Not because he’s ‘afraid’ like I was. God isn’t a fretful, fearful parent. He’s a loving one. He knows every hair on your head, he knows every word you are about to speak, before you even know what you’re going to say. He knows your thoughts. (Even the not very savoury ones!) And he loves you beyond measure. Psalm 103:11 says that his unfailing love toward us is as high as the height of the heavens above the earth!
He Never Sleeps
Not only does God not fall asleep ‘on the job’, but while your body is sleeping, your heart can still be awake to God and he can speak to you in dreams, instruct you and fill you with peace.
Job 33:14-18 NLT:
“For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death”
Psalms 16:7-9 NLT:
“I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.”
Psalms 17:3 NLT
“You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night”.
I find it so comforting to know that my Daddy God watches over me while I sleep.
He’s My Keeper.
God is our loving father.Think of how most parents watch over their children. You’re observant of potential dangers, you feel their pain when they are hurt. And yet it’s humanly impossible to watch your child every second of every day. In our busy world we can sometimes be distracted and take our eyes off our precious charge for a few vital seconds or even minutes. Even the most vigilant parent can be distracted momentarily by a text message, a conversation with a passerby, a pretty sunset, and in those few seconds your child can fall and graze a knee, or worse.
But God your Father NEVER, EVER takes his eye off you. What a thought! He’s never distracted in his purpose to care for you. He is the one who keeps you. How reassuring to know that!