We are Christians full time. True? Shouldn't we worship full time? We're not to meant to be Sunday morning or half-day Christians. Psalm 121 helps us focus on worship anytime, anywhere we go.
The classic beauty of this psalm is breathtaking. It speaks of nature … time … eternity. It speaks of God. It's a pilgrimage song used as the people ascended the hill to the Holy City of God, Jerusalem. “The hills” were a symbolic reminder of Mount Sinai and Mount Carmel - places of encounter with God.
Hear the “call to worship” in verses 1-2. “Look up at the hills and meditate on “where does my help come from?” Our eyes are lifted up to the God, the creator and craftsman of those hills and mountains ... the God who orders geological life, our historical life, and our spiritual life … the God who made the earth and all who dwell in it. Our souls are lifted as we look up and respond, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!”
Continuing our worship, we reflect on the promises and benefits from God our helper. He keeps us. “He will not let us slip up”- never sleeping or slumbering, He watches over Israel (His people). He is the firm foundation of life, at all times. (vss.3-4)
Verses 5-6 tell us He is our protector and He shelters us. We are not left cooking in a place like the desert of our psalm; but, are shaded at our “right hand,” the symbolic power and authority hand. And we will not be “moonstruck,” (unable to think or act normally, mentally upset) either.
The final strophe of verses 7-8 assures us God will not only protect us from physical harm, but from “all evil.” He will preserve our soul. No attack from the devil can take us away from His loving hand. His love is constant and unfailing. He guards us unto and into eternity - everywhere we go, every departure and arrival, every change and danger of change.
I think of the dark times in my life, like night time when I can't see our nearby hills. When life is cloudy and overcast because of my troubles, I still know God is there. He’s always present in any of our storms. When necessity, or our own undoing take us so far away that we can’t see those hills, He will be at our side.
The increase of anger and hatred in our times (particularly in politics) make me think of how cloudy our smoke-filled life is. I can’t even see the hills from my home nestled in them. I long for hope that God will take away all of the problem. Oh, how we need the presence of the creator of those mountains, the “Prince of Peace.”
Even when I lived in the Los Angeles area, there were times when the smog would not allow me to see my mountains. Interestingly, God's Spirit led me to realize that sometimes our man-made problems can block our ability to see our Lord clearly. Let’s worship, meditate on our creator-help … 24x7.
As we are united to the one who moves all things, we are on solid ground and cannot be moved. We will face trials. Since the day I decided to give my heart to the Lord, through years of college and then seminary, through strife … illness … dangers of death … failing in business … succeeding in business and facing severe emotional distress God preserved my “going outs and coming ins.” I hope you will join me in mid-week worship by looking at our beautiful mountains, often, and let's join in Psalm 121 together.