Psalm 121: I will lift up my eyes!
“the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (v.8)
What will you feel if you know that there is a Person who will never leave nor forsake you, no matter what? What if this Person also promised to protect you from any harm and to watch you every step of the way? And what if this Person is the most powerful and most loving person in the world? These great things are the promises of Scriptures written in Psalm 121.
According to theologians, Psalm 121 could be a soldier’s Psalm when David is fighting against his enemies on the field of battle. He entrusted his life to God and for His protection in the dangerous wars that he faced. Others said that Psalm 121 is a traveler's Psalm that was written by David in one of his journeys outside Israel. Since leaving his hometown and exploring distant places brought a greater risk of danger, David wrote the psalm to express his faith in the comfort of God's shelter.
1. Don’t look to men, look up to God
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (v.1 & 2)
David did not boast of his superior strength as a mighty warrior, and he also did look upon the multitudes of soldiers that are following him, he even did not consider the whole army of Israel as his source of help. When he lifted his eyes to the mountain, he only saw the One source of help that he needed – the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Though David had the choice to trust in men, he chose to trust in the maker of men. He knew that if God is for him, nothing can ever be against him.
A lot of people today are basing their security on a lot of temporary things. Some find it through their money, possessions, popularity, relationships and connections. Though these things might provide you a sense of security and fulfillment, ultimately, these things cannot give you the security that only God can give. Money and possessions can be gone in an instant, just like in the story of Job. Popularity might fade out once there is a new person that is much better compared to you. Relationships and connections might be lost for the same reason that people have always been fragile beings.
2. The Lord is able to protect you
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. (v. 3 & 4)
David affirmed in this psalm that God is constantly watching you wherever you go. Unlike human protectors, guards or soldiers that are limited in capacity and regularly needs rest, God is unlimited in strength and does not need any kind of replenishment, in spite of guarding His creations night and day. He won’t slumber. He won’t take you off His eyes. He will always watch you whatever time of the day it is because that is the kind of God He is.
One of the greatest gifts that you can receive from someone is undivided attention. God does more than that. He is constantly watching you even if you are not aware of His presence. While sleeping, you cannot guard yourself, but God is always there to protect you from any harm.
3. The Lord will provide you comfort
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. (v. 5 & 6)
God not just provides protection, but He also gives us comfort. In the same way that a massive tree and its shade can provide us relaxation and protection from the scorching heat of the sun, the Lord also provides shade at your right hand. In the Bible, right hand pertains to the strong, dominant hand that is commonly used for work. David's psalm affirmed that God would provide comfort and safeguard while you do the things that you do.
For most people, they are trying to find comfort and relaxation from different sources such as vices and immoral things. They used those sins as an escape path to get away from the stress and pressures of this life. As believers, the Scripture is telling us to find our comfort in God. We can find rest in Him and like a good shepherd in Psalm 23, He will lead us to quiet waters and will restore our weary souls.
4. The Lord’s protection is eternal
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. (v. 7 & 8)
Perhaps one of the greatest promises in the Bible, Psalm 121 tells how God will watch over our lives, in this life and to the next. God is not just concerned about your spiritual activities like prayer, Bible reading and personal devotion to Him. He is always concerned about your life – every aspect of it. No matter how seemingly secular those things are, such as studying for an exam, working in a major corporation or even browsing the internet, God is concerned about those things too. He looks over your life, not just some part of it, but all of your life.
Because of this promise of God, we can have the confidence to pursue those things that He is calling us to do. We should not be afraid to move forward, especially if we know that we are heading in the direction of God's will. Just like how he guided and protected David, God will also show you the way, over your coming and going, towards the path to everlasting life.