Yesterday, Joel and Guy continued leading us in our series through the Psalms of Ascent (Ps 120-134).  Psalm 121 is one of the most famous Psalms, and it begins with a question. The Psalmist lifts his eyes to the hills, and realises that he needs help – there are various possible explanations for why. But the Psalm’s emphasis is clearly on the security that God gives to his people – in just 8 verses, there are 6 uses of the verb “to keep” and 5 of the verb “to watch”! God watches over us, and keeps us safe.

Alec Motyer draws out four wonderful pictures of God’s care for his people in this Psalm:

  1. The Lord the Creator v1-2

God created, maintains, controls and directs all things. And when we remember how magnificent and powerful God is, and that he cares for us, our problems seem so much smaller!

  1. The Lord the Redeemer v3-4

God protects us from human frailty – the careless footstep; from divine negligence – God does not slumber or sleep; and also from forgetfulness. “Israel” comes as a surprise in v4, but it’s a reminder that the Psalmist is cared for because he/she is a member of God’s covenant people, who he has redeemed.

  1. The Lord the Companion v5-6

The picture of a “shade” is like a parasol, like eating outside on a hot day and finding the shade of an umbrella or a tree. God puts himself between the heat of the desert sun and his people, so that he takes the head, and his people enjoy his protection.

  1. The Lord the Guarantor v7-8

God keeps us from all harm. He acts like a comprehensive insurance policy – making sure that it’s all ok.  And he does it because he is fully committed to us. God – creator, redeemer and companion in Psalm 121 is God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who watches over us and keeps us safe.