June 10

Psalm 121, Part 1

Psalm 121 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….

The LORD is your keeper; 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.

Ps. 121 is the second of the 15 “Psalms of Ascent,” sung by pilgrims traveling to Zion to worship the Lord. These are also called Songs of Degrees, the Gradual Psalms or Pilgrim Songs. The first psalm in the series, Ps. 120, finds the pilgrim far away, dwelling in a strange and sinful land. Those following Ps. 121 trace the entire journey to Jerusalem, finally ending with the pilgrims worshipping with other believers in the Temple. Ps. 121 is the “just getting started on the journey” psalm.

Where are you going right now? For most of us, that’s an oddly phrased question. It’s much easier to ask, “What are you doing?,” as we tend to view our lives in terms of activities and events. Psalm 121 reminds us that we, like the ancient Israelites, are on a journey.

Remember how you got into the kingdom of God in the first place—God drew you in to Himself. It was a journey to Him. We are still being drawn to Him.

In fact, the final image of Psalm 134, finding us worshipping together with other believers in God’s presence, is a wonderful picture of God’s design for us here on earth and a prophetic image of our time in heaven with the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1)

Sometimes the world gets in our thinking and we just think of our journey as a series of checkpoints: education (✓), marriage (✓), kids, (✓) career (or just keeping the job), retiring, playing with grandkids, finding things to do in retirement, then dying and going to heaven.

God forgive us for this. He has so much more! He has determined a far greater journey for us: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29a). In fact, I John 3:2 says in the future, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

That’s the journey we’re on! Since God has predestined it, this conforming to His image is where we’re going. God wills it, He has determined it, and it’s what’s going on now in our lives. He knows where we started from and He knows the obstacles. But He also knows His appointed goal, and the strength of His power to accomplish His will.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that You have me on a journey. Help me not to get caught in the day-to-day plans and activities that would distract me from Your pathway for me. Thank You that You have made every provision to bring me along this journey to this almost unimaginable appointed end.

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