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The Great Guardian
by Susan Ferguson
12/31/2017 / Devotionals
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. (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
Psalm 121 is one of my personal favorites. It encourages me to depend on God and to recognize Him as my helper, provider, and guardian. This simple, yet profound psalm is one of fifteen psalms grouped together (120 through 134) known as the Songs of Ascent or Pilgrim Psalms. Traditionally, they were sung by Jewish pilgrims, who journeyed to the Temple in Jerusalem for the three annual feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). According to Luke 2:41-42, Jesus accompanied his parents to the Feast of the Passover when He was twelve years old. The feasts were a joyous time for the Jews, but the journey up into the mountains of Jerusalem could be dangerous. They had to tolerate hot days, rocky terrain, and the threat of thieves and wild animals. Aware of the dangers, the psalmist looked up to the mountains and turned his attention to the Creator of those mountains and said, “My help comes from God.”
Psalm 121:3-8 tells of God’s vigilant watch over the pilgrims throughout their journey. The psalmist assures them that God never sleeps and will not let their feet slip. And He will guard them against the heat of the sun and protect them during the night. The psalmist affirms that the Great Guardian will extend His care and protection to them for the rest of their lives.
In our world today, there are many troubles, and the psalmist is not saying that we will never encounter them. Rather, God has promised to accompany us, strengthen us, and sustain us through them. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 55:22) The psalmist reminds us that God is bigger than the troubles of the world and the trials we face, and there is nothing that takes Him by surprise. Psalm 121 invites us to look beyond this world and to trust in the Creator of it all, who has the power to watch over our lives and to keep us in His care.
Heavenly Father, thank You for standing guard over our lives, for being our helper and our provider, and for sustaining us through our trials. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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