THE LORD – MY GUARDIAN AND MY KEEPER
– I believe this message will bring you HOPE, HELP and ENCOURAGEMENT.
– There’s nothing like the Word of God to bring hope and restore courage.
– God’s Word is powerful. It can break shackles. It can break despair.
– Let’s turn our attention to one of the Psalms.
– This psalm could quite possibly be considered as ‘the most encouraging psalm’ in God’s Word.
– If not the most encouraging, then at least one of the most encouraging.
– It is Psalm 121.
Psalm 121:1-8 (NKJV) ‘I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper [other translations: protector or guardian]; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.’
– You have to agree this is a beautiful Psalm! Amen?
1. ‘LIFT UP MY EYES TO THE HILLS’ …LOOK TO YOUR DIVINE HELPER
a. Psalm 121:1-2a (NKJV) ‘I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD.’
– What is this business about the hills? Are we supposed to look up to the hills and somehow draw mystical power from the mountains or hills
– Not at all! Allow me to explain…
b. If you were living in those days, you would have understood this expression very well.
– The city of Jerusalem is situated on a hill and is surrounded by other hills. And the Temple hill in Jerusalem was the dwelling place of God on earth – the place where the ark of God’s presence rested.
– So, when someone needed divine help, he would look towards the hills. This was the same as looking to the Lord.
– In other words, he would look towards Jerusalem… towards the Temple hill… towards the place of God’s presence. That’s where he would direct his prayers. [It makes perfect sense]
c. Important Note: This wasn’t about drawing some mystical power from the mountains, but it was about praying towards the location of God’s presence in Jerusalem.
d. In 1 Kings we find an excellent example of praying towards the city and the temple: [These are the words of Solomon]
– 1 Kings 8:44-45 (NKJV) ‘When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city which You have chosen and toward the temple which I have built for Your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.’
– Praying towards the hills/the city/the temple… meant praying to the Lord!
e. Question: Where does your help come from?
– The obvious answer is ‘from the Lord’. We need to make sure that we really believe that!
– Billy Graham – ‘One really believes only that which one acts upon.’
– In other words, if you consistently go to the Lord as your Helper, then you demonstrate that you really believe He is your Helper.
– In this time of global crisis, make the Lord your Helper. Don’t trust in your own power… trust your Divine Helper.
f. The psalmist was not at all confused about the source of his help. He knew that it came from the Almighty God – the Maker of heaven and earth.
g. We need to always go to the Lord for help! Sometimes we are tempted to look in the wrong places:
– Example: Stuck without employment… look to alcohol for help
– Example: Struggling with loss & bereavement… look to a medium for help
– No… look to your Divine Helper.
h. John 14:16-17a (NKJV) ‘And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth.’
Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit! He is our Helper.
2. THE MAGNITUDE OF OUR HELPER
a. Psalm 121:2 (NKJV) ‘My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.’
b. The psalmist refers to our Helper as the One ‘Who made heaven and earth’. That is a powerful statement!!
– It means that if He made heaven and earth (The universe)… He made the whole.
– If He made the whole… then the parts of the whole are fully under His control.
– If everything is under His control… then it is easy for Him to help us!
– God can offer help because He has the authority to control.
– I can’t offer help from our military, because I don’t control it.
– God has the power and ability to help!
c. Our Helper is all-powerful. He is the Maker of heaven and the earth. He is the mighty God!
– SPEAK IT OUT: ‘He’s is my mighty Helper!’
d. Psalm 46:1 (NIV) ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present HELP in trouble.’
– He is no ordinary helper. He is our ever-present Helper!
– Our covenant-keeping Helper! Our faithful-to-His-promises Helper!
3. SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH HE WILL GUARD AND KEEP YOU
a. Verse 3 (NKJV) ‘He will not allow your foot to be moved.’
– The enemy would love to move your foot from the Rock of Ages, from the firm foundation of Christ. BUT God will keep you from slipping.
– Psalm 40:2 (NKJV) ‘He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.’
b. Verse 7 (NKJV) ‘The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.’
– I believe in God’s protection! How about you?
c Verse 8 (NKJV) ‘The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in.’
– One Theologian wrote the following: (uses Old Testament language) ‘In the morning a man would go out of his chamber in which he slept. He would go about his daily tasks. Then in the evening he would return to his chamber. Throughout the entire day he would know God’s preserving power.’
– The significance of ‘going out’ and ‘coming in’ is that God’s protection will cover ALL your activities.
– Deuteronomy 28:6 (NKJV) ‘Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out.’
4. GOD’S KEEPING POWER IS BOTH FOR THE PRESENT AND FOR ETERNITY
a. Psalm 121:8 (NKJV) ‘The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.’
b. Isn’t it wonderful to know that our future is secure? This is one of the most amazing promises of God! It reassures us.
– God cares for you right now.
– In 20 years He will still be caring for you.
– If you graduate to heaven, He will still be caring for you there.
c. Psalm 125:2 (NIV) ‘As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forevermore.’
d. DECLARE THIS: I am, secure! Both now, and forevermore. I am safe, in His arms!
5. Our response: LORD I PLACE MY TRUST IN YOU
a. When you think about it, this is a psalm of TRUST. It calls for a response from us! We cannot just read this psalm and walk away the same. It calls us to place our complete trust in the Lord.
b. This psalm encourages us to trust the Lord in every conceivable situation and stage of life.
– If you’re a child… trust the Lord to overcome fear of the dark / rise above bullying at school.
– If you’re a teenager… trust the Lord to to keep you pure / to give direction for subject choices / to find good friends.
– If you’re old and grey… trust the Lord to to give you clarity of mind / to provide for you.
c. God is completely worthy of our trust! He is trustworthy.
d. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) ‘Blessed are those who TRUST in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.’
e. Psalm 121 has given hope to countless people for over 2,500 years! And today it is encouraging YOU in your journey! It is breathing faith into your soul.
My last statement: How do we respond? By saying: ‘God, I place my trust in You!’
By: Pastor John Roebert
Used with permission.