Where Does Your Help Come From - Psalm 121

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Presentation Description

When worried and stressed, where do you turn for help?

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Presentation Transcript

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PSALM 121 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills; From whence comes my help? (2) My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (3) He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. (4) Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. (6) The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

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Where does your help come from? Psalm 121 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills; From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Psa 121:1-2

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Introduction: Psalm 121 is marked in the title as the second of the "Songs of Ascents". This is a sequence of 15 Psalms, from 120 through to 134, which were sung by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem to visit the Temple. In this Psalm we find the pilgrim still some way from Jerusalem and considering the journey ahead of him. So in verse 1 he "lifts up his eyes to the hills" .

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Perhaps the hills remind him of the goal of his journey. Jerusalem sits in the Hill country of Judea - but they certainly also remind him of the dangers of his journey: the dangers of the climb; the danger of bandits; the danger of heatstroke and exhaustion in the fierce summer heat; the danger of wild animals at night.

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All this prompts his question Where does my help come from? The Psalmist's answer is an emphatic - My help comes from the Lord. This is not a wishful cliché, but he has detailed reasons for his confidence in God's help, which he goes on to describe. Let's look at his reasons under two main headings. First God is bigger than our troubles , and second God cares about our troubles ...

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God is bigger than our troubles... We see it in verse 2 “Psa 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. ” The Psalmist is convinced that God can help him because He is the Maker of heaven and earth. The pilgrim lifted his eyes to the hills, and what he saw made him anxious. But now he lifts his eyes higher and looks beyond to the very one who made those hills: the one who made heaven and earth. With the Maker himself on your side there is no need to fear anything that has been made. Nothing is beyond God's reach and control.

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God cares about our troubles In verses 3-8 we find that the pilgrim's confidence is built not only on the fact that God is bigger than his troubles, but also on the fact that God cares about his troubles. Look how often he repeats the phrase "to keep or watch over" , "The Lord watches over you" . The Hebrew word the writer uses means " to keep "; "to guard"; "to hedge about"; "to protect", and he uses it six times in these six verses Another feature to notice is the Psalmist's repeated use of the word "you" . He is not so much interested in teaching the abstract truth that "God takes care of people" in general; rather He wants us to know that God watches over each one of us individually.

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The Lord's Care is Constant In verse 3, He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber. God's watch is constant; he is never asleep, never day-dreaming, never distracted, never inattentive. "We can sleep safely because our God is ever awake" . In verse 4 we see the reason that He is constantly concerned for us. It is because He is constantly concerned for his people, Israel , and, if we are believers, we are a vital part of his people. God's people are not complete without you!

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The Lord's Care is Close In verses 5 and 6 we find that the Lord's care is close . We often talk about God as if he were a long way away. One of the greatest perils for the traveller was the fierce heat of the middle eastern sun, but the promise is that God cares for the pilgrim even through this. God is close enough to take the heat for the traveller. Is your God close enough to take the heat out of the situations you face?

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The Lord guards the pilgrim through the perils of the day and the perils of the night, and everything in between. There are no circumstances in which he will abandon the pilgrim to look after Himself. Whatever it is that you are worried about, God is close enough to help you, and there is nothing He will abandon you to face alone. Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

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The Lord's Care is Continuing In verses 7 and 8 we find that the Lord's care is continuing . The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore . Psa 121:8 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 for evermore. God's concern for the pilgrim of the Psalm doesn't end when he completes his journey; God's commitment to his people is forever, for the greater journey we each undertake, our journey through life itself.

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What are we to make of this promise the Lord will keep you from all harm? Christians suffer sickness, bereavement, crime and unfairness just as much as unbelievers. In what sense is God keeping us from all harm? Are we deluded? Just as earlier he lifted his eyes above the troublesome hills to see their creator, here he looks beyond his present anxieties to eternal truths. God is concerned with our whole lives, not just now, but for evermore. Often, our first concern is that we have a comfortable life; God's first concern is that we have an eternal life.

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There are basically three reasons why our lives are often blighted by worry. And each of them is addressed by this Psalm. The first is that deep down we might really believe that God is unable to take care of us. The second reason that we worry is that we really believe that God is unwilling to take care of us. The third and perhaps most common, and dangerous reason we are such victims of worry is, we would simply rather cope on our own.

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So to get through life we rely on our intelligence, our job, our charm, our savings, our family. We'd rather be self -sufficient; we prefer to do things our own way. But at its heart, self-sufficiency is pride , and pride is a rejection of God. Spiritually speaking, the person who relies on himself rather than trusting God is like a child running away from home. It is a rejection of one's parents, a declaration of independence. Once we've decided to go our own way , it is no wonder we end up bearing the worries that come with that choice. Once we have left behind the One who watches over us, we leave behind any source of comfort.

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Conclusion: For a worry-free life, like the Psalmist, we need to be prepared to admit our need. “Where does my help come from?”... From the Lord, Strong and Mighty! Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith...Heb. 12:2 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." {6} So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Heb 13:5-6 )

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