Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Closer Look at Psalm 121

"I will lift up my eyes..."
Psalm 121:1

Now be honest:  How many of you think of Maria Von Trappe when you hear the verse, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help..." ?  It's a verse that paints such a beautiful picture, both of verdancy, but also of hope, and raising one's eyes to the Source of help.  It's a question, to be sure, but the answer quickly follows.   

And the psalmist underscores the trustworthiness of that help ~ "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Or, put another way, "My help comes from the Lord, who can do everything."  Or, "My help comes from the Lord, for whom nothing is impossible."

"He will not allow your foot to be moved..."  He will not allow anything to harm you; nothing will even knock you off balance!  And the Lord, your protector will never let down His guard for you.

Verses 5 and 6 are a wonderful illustration of His protection over us ~ wonderful in their accuracy, but also in their nuance. 

"The Lord is your keeper; your shade at your right hand."  Now, I'm a girl who prefers cool to warm, and prefers almost anything to hot, so I particularly like thinking of God as my shade.  But look at those next two lines:  "The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night."  Picture that.  Picture yourself, crouched down, literally sheltered by the hand of God.  Picture it hovering over you, shading you. 

A shade over you in the summer does a great deal to protect you from the heat, and the rays of the sun, which can do damage if your skin gets too much.  But that shade still lets in the light of the sun.  And if you were outside, under the light of a full moon, but with a cover over you, so that the moon's rays didn't shine directly on you, you would still feel the cool of the night.  And you would still see everything around you illuminated by it.

God promises protection, but never does He promise that will be immune from difficulties, or hardship.  Remember: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were allowed (by God) to go into the fiery furnace.  But He was there, too, protecting them from death.

And therein is the promise of those last two verses:  "The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.  He shall preserve your going out and your coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore."

These verses contain exciting superlatives:  "all evil," and "even forevermore".  No mistaking what those mean.  And no loopholes that He might wiggle out of ~ not that He would.  But we might, so we tend to think that way sometimes.

"Your going out and your coming in" ~ that's pretty much A to Z, Alpha to Omega.  Evil will never prevail against you; your soul shall be preserved. 

Look.  Look up into the hills, and past that, into the heavens, from whence your Help cometh. 

"... and even forevermore."
Psalm 121:8

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