“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore.”Psalm 121
This is such an encouraging Psalm; a reminder of where, and from Whom, our help comes. In Part 1, we looked at the meaning of the word ‘keep’ and how the Lord “never slumbers or sleeps” in his keeping of us. Today we will look at some more ways in which he watches over us.
Imagine if you could watch over your child every second of every day! You couldn’t, it’s humanly impossible. Even the most vigilant parent can be distracted momentarily by ordinary, everyday things. And typically, it’s usually in those few seconds of distraction that your child falls and grazes her knee and you end up berating yourself for “not watching her properly.” But God your Father never takes His eye off you. He watches over you day and night, never distracted in His purpose of caring for you.
“The sun will not harm you by day….” I love this analogy of the shade from the heat of the day, offered by the high mountains. God is our shelter and shade in the ‘heat’ of life.
Psalm 125 says something similar:
“Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.”(Psalm 125:2)
Isaiah wrote of the Lord:
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.”(Isaiah 25:4)
“….nor the moon by night.” Of course the moon itself can’t harm us, the way the sun can, but have you noticed how difficulties seem so much more difficult in the dark of night? How fears and anxieties magnify somehow, and then dissipate with the light of dawn? Jesus, the light of the world, dwells in you, and his brilliant, glorious light shines in the darkest of any night you face.
He Will Not Let Your Foot Slip
This word slip is figurative, rather than literal, physical slipping. Because of God’s ever-sustaining mercy and kindness, we will never slip back into a place of condemnation in his sight. Christians still sin and mess up, but forgiveness is ever just a repentant prayer away.
“Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”(Psalm 94:17-19)
“he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.”(Psalms 66:9)
The Psalmist ends by describing how the Lord keeps us as we “come and go.” In other words, as we go about our daily lives. We looked at the military connotation of the word keep. (In Part 1) Here are some other meanings, taken this time from the English dictionary:
* To retain possession of, or to take into one’s charge.
* To provide all necessities for – to raise and feed and care for.
* To protect and preserve.
When we go through trying times, we often turn on God rather than turn to him; we run from him, rather than to him – the one our help comes from.
You, his child, are guarded by the Lord. Yes, life is a battlefield at times, and Christians are not immune from troubled times. But we have the Lord of Hosts right by our side. The one who never leaves us or forsakes us! He keeps you; fiercely and jealously as His precious inheritance; the ‘apple of his eye.’ This is the God you can lift your eyes to, and rely upon to help you, today and always!