Psalm 121 (NKJV)
A Song of Ascents
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Three times a year the Israelites were commanded to go to Jerusalem to observe 3 feasts.
-The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover)
-The Feast of the Harvest (Pentecost)
-The Feast of The Ingathering (Feast of Tabernacles)
They refreshed their memories of God’s saving ways at the feast of Passover in the spring. They renewed their commitments at the Feast of Pentecost.
They responded as a blessed community at the Feast of Tabernacles in the autumn.
They were a redeemed people, a commanded people, and a blessed people.
And so the peculiar circumstances of the Israelites are the expectation of travel three times a year. It’s a combination of being excited in being there in Jerusalem but the getting there will be a tremendous challenge. The long walk towards Jerusalem will be hard, and fraught with danger. You see, every time the Israelites would go up, there will be hustlers and hucksters plying their trade. There will be prostitutes. There will be thieves. There will exposure to the heat and the cold. It is also known that the anxiety alone could cause people to lose their minds albeit temporarily.
The “Hills” are filled with false gods, false religions offering all kinds of “help”. But the Israelites have made a decision to obey God’s commands. They have made a decision that any help they need would come from God alone.
In Psalm 121, we see three possibilities of harm to the pilgrim travelers:
1. A person traveling on foot can at any moment step on a loose stone and sprain his ankle.
2. They can also become faint with sunstroke and 3. Under the extended pressure of long distance travel by foot, the Pilgrims can cave in to fatigue and anxiety and become emotionally ill (lunacy or moon stroke)
In today’s world, we deal with terrorism, airline, bus and ferry mishaps, all kinds of viruses, accidents and so on.
We can have our finest vehicles, wear seatbelts, have the best insurance policies but we cannot guarantee security.
The most ancient of truths is that – “Life is hard.” The sooner we come to terms with this, the better. In order to assist us in navigating the labyrinth of sin, conflict and suffering, we truly need God’s guidance. The Word of God offers such guidance for us.
We already know that the Christian life is not a rose garden kind of life. Faith encounters all kinds of troubles. But Psalm 121 offers us one of the greatest promises in the Bible: God is our Guardian.
True help comes from the Creator not from creation.
Our God is always awake.
The Creator is Lord over time.
The Creator is Lord over all natural and supernatural forces.
“God guards us from every evil.”
Psalm 121 prevents the notion that God’s interest in us wanes and varies according to our spiritual temperature.
When sickness, or accidents, or relationship problems take place we start thinking that God has forgotten us or became too preoccupied with other stuff.
Christians travel the same ground that everyone walks on, breathe the same air, hear the same music, shop in the same stores, read the same blogs, pay the same prices for groceries and gas, fear the same dangers, subject to the same pressures, buried in the same ground…
The difference is that each step we walk, each breath we breathe, we know that God preserves us. We know we have a traveling companion.
Pastor Chito Cordero is Senior Pastor of Word International Ministries in Los Angeles located or WIN LA at 530 Benton Way in LA Ca 90057. For comments, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. or wordinternational.com.