Sometimes we feel like we are just overwhelmed with life, and that we are all alone. Even though we like to think we can do it all on our own power, we inevitably get to a point where we just know that we need help. The storms of life come, whether we like it or not. As my pastor likes to say, you’re either coming out of a storm, in the middle of a storm, or about to head into a storm. Wherever you are right now on this “storm continuum” of life, you better get know how to deal with the storms of life. This short psalm deals with just that.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Let’s be real, this is why I chose this particular psalm today! Theses two verses form a memorable line in one of my favorite songs – “Praise you in this storm” by Casting Crowns, so there you have it.
So what’s the psalmist telling us? First – whoever he is, he is in trouble. We don’t know what kind of trouble, but probably a physical kind of danger. Maybe he’s looking up at the hills around him because that’s where the danger is coming from. Or, he’s looking to the hills for protection, either as a place to flee, or because of protection provided by hills, like the protection A city gets from having mountains surround it. Either way, this is the truth – My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Whatever storm we are in, whatever we are running from, sooner or later we figure out where the protection lies.
He will not let your foot be moved; God is stable, He is always there. Think about the time this was written. If we were to lose a foot now, it sucks, but we can survive. We might even get a prosthetic, and most people would not even know the foot was missing. When this psalm was written, losing a foot would have been a big deal. They don’t have planes, trains and automobiles. Life would be very difficult. You would be very dependent on others for survival, your quality of life would be very poor. (Kind of laughing right now – “quality of life” really was not a concern 1000 years BC.)
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. From a time when the night watchman was a VIP. The guards protecting Jesus’ grave dozed off, and look what happened. History lost the greatest eyewitness account ever! Going to sleep in this time was probably hazardous to ones health. Bandits, armies, animals, there were lots of things going bump in the night. But the God of creation never sleeps, he is always on duty.
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. I guess global warming has been going on for a lot longer than we think. Not sure what these people were pumping out that made it so hot, but they needed God’s protection from the heat even then. Seriously, the sun is dangerous in this part of the world, then and now. So while we don’t look at shade as protection, they certainly did.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. Life will not always be blues skies and green pastures. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. God’s protection is always with us. He is not just our hiding place. He is not just our shade. He is our bodyguard, goung with us wherever we go. He is who He is, no matter where we are…
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 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. 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. 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.”
Psalms 121:1-8 ESV