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The Lord Watches Over Us - Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. (1)

I look up to the mountains—  does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,  who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!  The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
-Psalm 121 (NLT)

When God saves us, he does not just give us an invisible ticket to heaven and say, "see you at the end of your life."  No.  The whole package of salvation is that God saves us and blesses us.  The Savior is also the Lord, and The Lord is my shepherd (Ps. 23).  God is the, "I will be with you" God (Ps. 91).  He was not just with Moses and Joshua, but he is with every believer.  That's the blessing.

God promises to watch over us, like a parent or a shepherd.  We walk out, coming and going, and God watches over us.  God guards us.  He is our guardian.  Jesus is the good shepherd (John 10:11).

As we journey towards God and in life, we are being saved.  Salvation is both an event and a process.  Our savior is also the one who watches over us, as we live out our lives.

We who are believers, begin at some point, and continually learn, a lifestyle of being people who continually look up to God.  And we learn that God helps us.  He is our help.  One of the names for the Holy Spirit is the helper (John 14:26).  That is good news.

We first recognize our need of and desire for God, and we call out to God, who answers and intervenes in our lives.  This is what happens when you experience salvation.  Your eyes open to your need for the free gift of salvation in Christ and you thankfully gave yourself to God.  If you have not become a Christian yet, this is what you have to look forward to.

Or, you may be somebody who went through the door of Christ (John 10:9) some time ago, but today, you are in pain or irritated by something in your life, and you are calling out to God, asking for help.  You try prayer and you find out that it works.  God hears your prayers.  You know this, because you see answers.  You are so happy about this that you tell others and encourage them.  That's Psalm 120.

The next thing, is that we become aware that God not only intervenes, but watches over us or guards us as we come and go in life.  But, we are not always aware of God's presence, and that is why the song or prayer of Psalm 121 is important.  It is there to remind us of, and for us to declare our faith in, our God who is Emmanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23).

The vastness of the ocean or the sky, and the imposing majesty of the mountains, in our view, are small reminders of our all-powerful God, who watches over us.  When you are having a bad day, look up and out at the creation.  You can say, "God made all that, and he is guarding me!"  That is encouraging.

Experiencing God (2) being your guardian, like a shepherd, and like a parent, is part of that whole package of salvation.  His saving you and blessing you are interlocked.  You have a birthright as a child of God to pray and be answered and to be watched over, as you come and go in life.  This gives us faith or confidence to walk in the kingdom of God.

1. My notes of the Songs for Pilgrims set of Psalms 120-34 is here.
2. Experiencing God is the life message and book by Henry Blackaby, that swept through the Evangelical church in the early 1990's.


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