A real, concrete promise: A meditation on Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents 

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. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. – Psalm 121

Who’s doing all the work here?  I lift up my eyes, but my help comes not from good staff, good breeding, good parents, good work.  My help comes from the LORD.  He’s doing all the work.

He’s keeping me from going astray.  He’s not taking a nap or growing tired.  He is the One who sanctified me through his Son and he’s the One who keeps me that way.  He’s the place I can go to escape from the burning heat of the rightful anger he has toward my sin and the searching light of his righteousness that shines on the hidden, dark things in me.  He’s the one keeping me from being ruined by evil; not overcome by it, but overcoming it with good.  He’s the one keeping my life forever.

And all this he promises me.  But how can I know?  Isn’t this Israel’s?  Yes!  And he proves, even now, thousands of years later, that Israel has a keeper.  Though she has rejected him, he will not fail to keep his promise to her.  And when I look at her history, and I watch her even now, that barely a spot on the world map that causes so many around her to roar and rattle, I realize, that the LORD who promised to be the keeper of unfaithful Israel, keeps me too.  For, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)


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