“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.” Psalm 121:1-2
Psalm 121 invites God’s people to find a secure, present, and gracious helper in the person and work of the LORD – the promise making and keeping God of the Bible. However, if we are honest, as good as that invitation sounds, there is an ever-present temptation to second-guess the Helper and the help offered.
We ask for aid (“Help!”); The Lord is offered as our Helper (Almighty God and Faithful Father); we think to ourselves, “What else is available?” As we continue deeper into Psalm 121, it is important to notice and focus upon the quality of the help provided. It is truly helpful help: help without interruption, without exception, and without limitation.
Help without interruption: verses 3-4 of Psalm 121 remind us that God will not allow your foot to slip and that he does not sleep or rest while busy caring for and keeping watch over your life. His helping love is without interruption!
Help without exception: Verse 5-6 teach us that God is our keeper. Period. No exception. And our hearts are tempted to say, “yes, but . . . what about . . .?” So many threats face us daily. Some are obvious and some are unforeseen – the fiercest trials of day and night breathe down our necks all the time. The psalmist impresses upon us the LORD is “the shade on our right hand” filtering the poison out of the trials that come into our lives. Even when most vulnerable and most exposed, we are never forgotten, never fending for ourselves, and never outside the providential care and love of the LORD. Nothing comes into our lives or goes out from our lives that is not filtered through the care and love of God. No exception.
Help without limitation: Verses 7-8 make an astonishing claim: the LORD keeps us from all evil. We respond by asking, “Can this really be true? All evil? All evil without limitation?” Psalm 23:4 tells us to expect the dark valley of the shadow of death – that we will face the unsettling reality of living in a radically broken world. The Gospel of God’s grace and help never promises a cushioned and charmed life, as much as we would long to have such a promise, but it does promise that we will always be well armed for the journey by the LORD’s rod and staff. The evil this psalm promises the LORD will keep us from is the evil that would destroy us spiritually and cut us off from the redeeming love and grace of God. Without exception, the LORD keeps us from such evil. His help is steadfast and his grip upon his people is sure. No limitation!
With such rich and gracious promises of help, what is left for us to do, even today, as we face up to the brokenness in us and around us? Bid farewell to false helps and empty comforts. Ask for the LORD, who made heaven and earth, to be your helper today!