Psalm 121

Chuck Allen // @achuckallen //

One of the most powerful words in the English language is the word help.  It is the ultimate admission that a position of humility has finally been attained.  Because only the humble, not the proud, only the broken, not the arrogant, choose to use this word.

Help! it is the cry of a mother with four children, two dogs, one cat, a car in the shop and a soccer team after a week at home, while the husband has been away in Florida on a business trip.

Help! it is the cry of a college student who sits down to take his final exam, only to discover he has studied the wrong chapters.

Help!  it is the cry of a man sitting at a table surrounded by a stack of unpaid bills, hungry children, an empty bank account with no job in sight.

Help!  it is the cry of a woman who has poured her life into hearth and home for twenty-five years only to have the husband she adores walk in and say, “I’m leaving.  I have met someone else, and I don’t love you anymore.”

Help!  it’s the cry of a teenager whose self-esteem is found in the back seat of a car  and whose best friends are encouraging her because everybody is doing it.

Have you ever been in a position where you needed help?  More than that, have you ever been in a position where the only one who could possibly help you was God? I have – and I usually turn to God after I’ve exhausted every other solution…but why?

Here’s some good news – if you’re in a position where your only help is God, be encouraged.  Because God has you right where He wants you.

The Psalmist was in dire need of help.  Evidently he was in such a mess that there was no other place to turn but God.  And through this experience, God taught him three lessons that we should pay close attention to…

You see, there are times in our life when the only way out is up; when we are going to have to trust God and rely on God for He is our only hope.  When you reach those times in your life, hang on to these three truths.

First – God is Our Provider – The author of this psalm did what all of us tend to do when we’re in trouble.  He looked every place but the right place.  
He tried everything but the right thing.  He asked every person but the right person.  And he found every avenue a dead-end street.

Psalm 121 in verses 1 and 2: I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

The answer to the problems that we face, our churches face, our leaders face, our governments face, aren’t going to be found in a new president, or higher education or a simpler tax code…,but in a Holy God.  The prophet Jeremiah had already warned the nation: Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the Lord our God will Israel ever find salvation. Jeremiah 3:23

When life is falling apart, God will give us exactly what we need. 3 simple truths…that only a Good Heavenly Father can give us…

He Gives us Security

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2  
Can you think of anyone you’d rather have as your help mate than the God who created this universe.  I’m talking about the God who is higher than the hills, mightier than the mountains, above all the armies, greater than all the generals. That God…the one who spoke creation into being – and He wants to climb into your life’s foxhole and fight for you!

The Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah said – You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You. Jeremiah 32:17

God controls this world, and can do anything in this world, through this world, for this world, or with this world He chooses to do.  “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.”  Psalm 115:3  God is our help in time of trouble.  God is our hope in time of tragedy. Can you imagine a life without hope? What should give us great hope is that nothing we experience and nothing we need is a surprise for God – He is our Hope!

If we were to realize how powerful God is, when we come to those times when God is the only help we have, we would realize that God is the only help we need.

Take a single bolt of lightning.  
Did you know that the lightning flash that you see is caused by the lightning bolt heating the air molecules in its path to 32,000 degrees celsius, five times the temperature of the sun’s surface.  

That bolt of lightning is only two inches wide.  You only see it for three hundred millionths of a second.  But think about the power of one lightning bolt.  A bolt may have up to one billion volts.  That’s enough power for one billion homes for one month.  Add that to the fact that approximately 2,000 thunderstorms happen around the world at any one time, and a typical storm has one to three lightning flashes every minute. That’s a powerful God who the Bible says is a “very present help in time of trouble.”

He Gives Us Security & He Gives Us Stability

“He will not allow your foot to be moved.” verse 3 Every now and then the challenges of life may beat you up.  You may stumble, but you will not fall because it is God who will not allow your foot to be moved.  The word to be moved literally means “to slip.”

There’s a great promise found in Proverbs 3:25-26, Do not be afraid of sudden terror  or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.  This promise is simply: while others are falling like flies, the person living for God, stands for God, loves God – will not, and cannot fall.

He Gives Us Security, He Gives Us Stability &…

He Gives Us Serenity

“He who keeps you will not slumber, Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” verses 3-4  No parent can watch their kids 24 hours a day, but God does. You are never out of God’s sight and you are never off His mind.

God’s on watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, a hundred years a century, 10 centuries a millennium.  The reason why we should be able to go to sleep at night is because He doesn’t.

Hi, I’m Chuck…I am an often depressed, fret-filled  worry wort. Why? Because I often lose sight of this truth. The truth that God loves me – God loves you…and like a Good Good Father, He watches over me and protects me and wants to do the same for you!

God is Our Provider & God is Our Protector

The Lord is your keeper. verse 5  Several times in these verses we read the word “keep.” “Keep” literally means “to protect” or “to guard.”  Not only is the Lord our provider, but the Lord is our protector.

He Is Our Shield

The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. verse 5 – We are told that the Lord stands at our right hand.  Why the right hand? In ancient days a soldier had two primary weapons.  He had a shield and he had a sword.  But his most valued weapon was the shield because that was his only defense and the shield was always held in the left hand.  So the most vulnerable part of a soldier was his right side.

That’s exactly where God always stands, at our most vulnerable point.  The Lord always puts His strength at our greatest point of weakness.  We are promised that the Lord is our shield.  Psalm 84:11 reminds us, “Our God is a sun and a shield.” Psalm 18:30 says, “He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

He Is Our Shade

The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.  The sun will not strike you by day, or the moon by night. verses 5-6 Life is Good, but Life is also HARD! God is our shade. He protects us when things get HOT and when we feel left out in the COLD!

Verse 6 goes on to tell us, The sun will not strike you by day,nor the moon by night.  That simply means in both daytime and dark, God protects us – The Lord is our shade and our shield that protects us from both heat and hurt.  

God is Our Provider, God is Our Protector & God Is Our Preserver

The Lord will preserve you from all evil; He will preserve your soul, The Lord will preserve your going out and your coming in from this time, and forevermore. verses 7-8. Now the word “preserve” is the same Hebrew word used for the word keep.  But it is still a good alternative translation.  Because God does more than just protect us, He preserves us.  And we need him to do both.  You see, protection is not the same thing as prevention.

God Preserves Us From All Evil

The Lord will preserve you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. verse 7.  Now the word evil here in the Hebrew language does not refer to evil that is done to us.  It refers rather to evil that is done by us.  God promises us that if we will follow Him, love Him, serve Him, and obey Him, He will not lead us into temptation, but He will deliver us from evil.

It is in the moments of tension – when you are at the point of acting on your desires and wrestling with God speaking the words to preserve you from that sin…that is when we find out if we love Him – for he isn’t tempting us, He is trying to preserve us!

God Preserves Us For All Eternity

The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. verses 7-8 That’s one of the greatest one-sentence statements of eternal security found in the Bible.  From the second you choose Jesus and you are born into the kingdom of God, throughout all eternity, God promises to preserve and protect your soul.

You know, there are folks who think that we aren’t eternally safe until we get to heaven.  They get this idea that after we choose to follow Jesus,  we get into a race with Satan.  That we’re running to heaven with Satan on our coattails, trying as best as we can to catch us and drag us back, and they think that when we die we are somehow going to rush into heaven, slam the door, lock it, swallow the key, wipe our brow and go – “Whew! made it, and now I can never fall from grace.”

Here’s some great news for you.  Those of you who think you can lose your salvation and fall from grace, and think that you are not totally secure until you get to heaven, did you know that Satan  fell from heaven?  Folks, listen! If you’re not secure down here, you won’t be secure up there.  “Well what about those times when I am not faithful to God?”  Let me give you some even better news.  Even when you are not faithful to God, He is always faithful to you.  It is His faithfulness that matters.

God will not only be faithful to the end, He will be faithful beyond the end.  When you feel as if you are at the end of your rope, and you just can’t take another step, remember who your hope is, and where your help is.

If you’re new around Sugar Hill Church, this might be new to you, but if you’ve been around Sugar Hill Church very long, you know that I end almost every service with this blessing –

May you allow the God of all creation go before you and make a way…may He may make your crooked path straight…For He can and He will! May you leave with God at work within you as He brings you peace, joy, fulfillment and contentment…for He is always good and you are always loved! And may you allow Him to come behind you in your days if discouragement and defeat; pick you up and carry you through your despair…set you down on your two feet victoriously, wipe away your tears, kiss you on the forehead and wrap his loving arms around you as you hear Him say – My Child, I Love You!!  

When friends abandon you, remember God is your Provider.  When others hurt you, remember God is your Protector.  When fears consume you, remember God is your Preserver. He is waiting on you to say HELP! I need somebody…but not just anybody. HELP!, I need Jesus! Today, are ready to simply say it and mean it – HELP!