I've come to the end of Ecclesiastes and as is my habit, now begin to work my way through another 10 Psalms. This morning the lines have fallen to Psalm 121. Wow!
I must admit, I hated leaving Solomon's sermon. Its providential pertinance to the present path that I've been traveling has been amazing. I have learned much from the old wise king.
This past year has found me, in many ways, walking in Solomon's shoes. Testing. Questioning. Searching. Faltering under the weight of vanity. Striving to remember my Creator and yet often finding myself forgetful of Him. My God has guided and guarded me through an incredibly dark valley and even this past Sunday morning as I meditated on Ecclesiastes 12 some of the scales fell off of the eyes of my heart. I have loved this book!
This morning I found myself sighing as I went to the Word. "Oh, I'm going to miss Ecclesiastes."
Opening my Bible I found that the next passage in my study order was Psalm 121. A psalm that teaches us to look to God as our all-sufficient One. As I read through this song of ascent I found myself ascending to the mount of thanksgiving. This psalm declares that which my God has done for me, is doing for me, will do for me all the days of my life here under the sun. I have been surrounded by a swelling storm surge - one that has come frighteningly close to pulling me under - yet the God of this psalm has proven true regarding the promises of this psalm - even over the course of the past week. This is a perfect place to land after Ecclesiastes!
Psalm 121 begins with a determined statement from the psalmist. "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains."
Far too often I find myself not looking up, but looking down and looking around. Like Peter when he sought to walk to Jesus I find myself being so overwhelmed by that which is threatening to undo me that I get undone! I look at my circumstances rather than to the God of my circumstances. It is then that I sink - and often sink hard and deep.
We are here admonished not to look down, not to look around, but to look up!
Look up, Lori! Look above your adversarial circumstances. Look above the valley of the shadow of death. Look above the waves. Look above the winds. Look to the mountains - the high mountains. Look to Mount Zion. Look beyond the mountains to the God who is higher and wiser and more settled than the mountains. "I will lift my eyes."
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes form the LORD, who made heaven and earth."
Look up! Look up to the mountains. Greater than that look up to the God who created the mountains. In Him is our help. He who created heaven and earth can create a way out of the wild wilderness for us. Let your hope and your confidence be found in this God who is your Help! The strong God. The steadying God. The steadfast God.
"He will not allow your foot to slip." He will steady you from fully falling.
"He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." He will never NOT be available. We have an ever watchful and an ever wakeful God. He is never napping and is always watching.
"The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand." God has made it His duty to keep us. He is our protector. Could we be any safer?
But not only is the LORD our refuge, He is also our refreshment! He is our shade. He comforts us from the scorching heat of a dry and weary land. He is an oasis in the desert and an ever-flowing fountain for a thirsty soul.
He is at our right hand - "the working hand. Therefore, let us turn ourselves dextrously to our duty and we shall find God ready and near to assist us and give us success" (Henry).
"The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul." No matter what the circumstance. Be it the flames and fires of persecution, be it the frozen tundra of abandonment, the Lord will protect us from ALL evil - from ALL evil! He will sustain us from evils within and from evils without. He will keep our soul - eternally. Even if our flesh and our heart fail - our soul is secure! How safe we are in all situations!!!
Beloved, there is nothing to difficult for our God. NOTHING! There is no situation that can snatch us from His hand (Romans 8:28-39) and no evil that can ultimately overcome us! How unbelievably amazing is this helping, keeping, protecting, always watching, never sleeping Creator God?!
Are you lifting your eyes to Him? What else would you dare lift your eyes too? Look up! Lift your eyes to the moutains from whence your help shall come!!
Oh, these are precious promises. These are protective promises. The God who has made us will help us. The God who is with us will keep us. The God who has ordained our steps will protect us in them. Look up! Lift your eyes to the One from whom your help comes!
The psalmist closes with these words. "The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever."
Beloved - this is an ongoing, ever applying, never failing promise. God is our guard. He guards all of our days! He guards all of our ways! He is guarding us as we go out and as we come in. He is our hedge. He is our shield. He is our fortress. He is our comforting and conquering King!! From this time forth and forever - eternally, continually, in life and in death - He is with us. Lift your eyes. Look up!
What circumstances are sinking you this day? What are you looking at? Oh friends, look up. LOOK UP!! Your Helper is near! Your Creator is awake! Your Keeper is kind! Your Guard will guide! Look up and find help for your time of need.
He has enabled me to finally lift my head above the raging river of the past 13 months. He has granted me the grace to look to Him. He has helped me and I am humbled!
In His glorious grace,