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  • Chad Werkhoven

Psalm 121 - Look Up

Confidently walk the narrow path by lifting your eyes to the Lord.



 

Psalm 121 (NIV)


A song of ascents.


1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.


3 He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.


5 The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.


7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 13: The Doctrine of God’s Providence


We believe that this good God,

after he created all things,

did not abandon them to chance or fortune

but leads and governs them

according to his holy will,

in such a way that nothing happens in this world

without his orderly arrangement.


Yet God is not the author of,

nor can he be charged with,

the sin that occurs.

For his power and goodness

are so great and incomprehensible

that he arranges and does his work very well and justly

even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly.


We do not wish to inquire

with undue curiosity

into what he does that surpasses human understanding

and is beyond our ability to comprehend.

But in all humility and reverence

we adore the just judgments of God,

which are hidden from us,

being content to be Christ’s disciples,

so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word,

without going beyond those limits.


This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort

since it teaches us

that nothing can happen to us by chance

but only by the arrangement of our gracious

heavenly Father.

He watches over us with fatherly care,

keeping all creatures under his control,

so that not one of the hairs on our heads

(for they are all numbered)

nor even a little bird

can fall to the ground

without the will of our Father.


In this thought we rest,

knowing that he holds in check

the devils and all our enemies,

who cannot hurt us

without his permission and will.


For that reason we reject

the damnable error of the Epicureans,

who say that God involves himself in nothing

and leaves everything to chance.

 

Summary


Psalm 121 comes in a section of the Psalter which is known as the Songs of Ascents. Since Jerusalem sat on top of a hill, the pilgrims from the outer reaches of Israel would have to ascend the hill as they came to visit the temple, and they would sing these short Psalms as they traveled and anticipated coming into the Lord's presence.


What a picture- these tired and worn down travelers standing on the floor of the valley and looking up the mountain to Jerusalem, knowing that they were going to the very source of their help: the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.


This short Psalm reminds you of God's providential care in three specific ways. First, "He will not let your foot slip." Every moment of every day you can be assured the Lord guards your footsteps.


Secondly, know that "the LORD watches over you." Though it often seems like the sun is beating down on you without relief, take comfort in that the "LORD is your shade."


Finally, you are reminded that the "LORD will keep you from all harm." This may rouse your inner skeptic a bit as you begin to consider all of the harm you've experienced over the course of your life, as you begin to wonder why the Lord didn't seem to "watch over your coming and going" during some of the more trying episodes in your life. But read this promise in light of God's providence in the life of Joseph and his brothers, and be reminded that what we often experience as harm are things the Lord intends for good purposes.



Dig Deeper


This short song which gave the ancient Israelites such hope as the ascended the temple mount ought to give you and I even more hope as we read it in the light of Christ. Jesus called us to enter the narrow gate and walk the narrow path which leads to eternal life.


Jesus' command may be interpreted that somehow making it to salvation and eternal life is contingent upon our ability to stay the course and keep ourselves on the difficult footing of the narrow path. But this isn't the case at all!


As you walk the difficult route Christ has called you to follow, be sure to sing Psalm 121 to yourself often so that you're reminded that your Lord will not let your foot slip, that He watches over you day and night, and that He will keep you from all harm both now and forevermore.



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will walk down the narrow path with the confidence of knowing your Father will not let your foot slip as you trust in Him;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 6

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