Long Story Short -
Doubt will come, so remember truth or seek truth and realize the security you can have today in God. In this life we will try to find rest in many things but know that true REST can only come from God, the one who gave everything for us by sending His Son to die on the cross.
Psalms 121 /// trips are many things.
This December the majority of us will be traveling. They are fun, tiresome, challenging and I believe that for the most part we take trips or start off on a journey because we want them to bring unity, clarity, and we want them to be life changing.
In this passage we find David has given us a personal account of the journey. He shares with us that he is restless; restless with life, restless with the journey, restless with the dangers around him, restless with himself.
AND MAYBE YOU ARE HERE TODAY FEELING LIKE THIS.
Let me ask you, have you ever been here before? Have you ever found yourself lying in your bed looking up at the ceiling asking yourself how are you going to make it? Or lying in the grass & staring at the sky or stars -
- Asking yourself why is this happening to me? How am I ever going to make it out of this one?
- Why did I listen to the GPS instead of my wife or friend? Am I ever going to reach my destination? Is this relationship really worth it? Why do I even try at work, at school, or try to make things work at home? Am I the only one going through this?
As we’re going to see in this passage, David starts off just like this. With DOUBT, maybe Self-doubt, Insecurity, Lack of Confidence, Worry, Anxiety you name it. David starts off with a question expressing a desire to know where this kind of help comes from, which leads him to an answer. It’s an answer we find in Psalms 121.
As we dive into the text, understand that they are in a pilgrimage. After all this is a Psalms of Ascent. Yet, this was not just some random journey. The travelers had a destination in mind, their journey had a purpose and as I said at the beginning, there can be restlessness until one has reached the destination. Sometimes journeys can be effective and sometimes they can be detrimental to ourselves and those around us, even if there is a purpose to accomplish. For example: sports, a job, fitness, a hobby, you name it. When something is not well balanced or properly aligned we will find ourselves restless because of our lack of focus.
Let us think about those things as we dive into the text…
A song of ascents.
“1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; 8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
This Psalm has been very encouraging to me in many ways! It has reminded me of a pattern that I’ve repeated many times and maybe you have found yourself doing this. That pattern goes like this…
…In verse one we start withDOUBT …maybe self-doubt, insecurity or lack of confidence. We’ve been there. But this led him to seek truth…
- Truth - (Ps. 121:2-8, Ps. 16:8, Jn. 8:1b,12) In seeking truth, we see how it’s found in the Lord. We find it in His Word when we are reminded of this truth and the care God has for us. Truth can also come from godly friends and family that care for us. We have been there, when we’ve been given advice to do things better or wiser, but didn’t until we started seeing truth and then started preaching to ourselves. When we saw the need for ourselves, that is when we took action. The dangers could have been there all along but it’s not until we started acknowledging them that we realized that God has been taking care of you & me all along. David starts to remember this truth…But this does bring up a good question, “How was he able to remember this truth?” David Powlison is a popular speaker, writer and faculty member of The Christian Counseling and much more. He said… You counsel two kinds of people in principle.“One kind will hear and embrace immediately and sometimes gradually. In other words, Jesus can have His say and His way. The other kind of person will not hear. They are fundamentally closed to what the true God is all about. You see, they may talk God-talk and be religiously active and have spiritual experiences… but they want something else out of it all. “ So how can we become more like the first kind of person? Well, this kind of person is one who is teachable. When it comes to the external and internal we really have so many options to choose from. The question is how are we going to keep pressing on if we are already doing it. And if we’re not doing it, what is holding us back? For David it was about remembering truth and preaching to himself. What truth? Before I get unpacking verse 4, let us remember what we covered in John 8:12. Jesus said: “I am the light of he world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is the truth I’m referring to. David does the same thing…
“4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.”
v. 4 - God does not go to sleep. He is there for us at all times. You can sleep knowing He is watching over us. Verse 4 reminds us that God does not sleep. v. 5 - Tells us how “the Lord is your shade at your right hand”. Ps. 16:8 reminds us this truth as well. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” The right hand was the protector’s place. In other words He is always on speed dial. You can count on Him to be there. As David is remembering all of this it is starting to make sense and he is not even done. Experiences. Both past and present. v. 6 He was remembering the dangers along the way - accidents, wild animals, robbers, heat stroke. All of this is implied in verse 6. The “sun” and “moon” represent all the dangers of the day and night. For you, it could simply be remembering how He took care of you when you got laid off from your job, or how He took care of you when you got in that accident that almost took your life. You see, when you start to remember all the things God has done and has promised to you… Promises like…the kind of Truth we find in Scripture. Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for comfort and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” A truth that will set us free. John 8:31.
…This brings SECURITY…
- SECURITY - (Ps. 121:7; Ps. 91:4) It’s a security that David realized after doubting and preaching to himself. What was his conclusion? It’s the same one you and I would have had if we have ever walked down this path. Verse 7… “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life” Ps. 91:4 - “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and defense.” It’s a promise that God has given to His children. But please understand that this security doesn't mean that you will not experience hard times. In fact, we have seen throughout Scripture that trials will come. But when we get to the place that we can say, “Okay, God has been faithful in the past. He is my helper. He will keep me from all harm.” It is then that I can stop being restless. I can do my job now knowing that it is for Him and not for the praise of people. I can now do my best in sports knowing that it is for Him and not for the praise of people. I can now go to sleep and get rest because of the ONE who watches over me.
…When we get to this point we find REST…
- REST - (Ps. 121:8) This is a rest unlike any this world can offer. It’s a rest knowing that God will watch over our coming and going both now and forevermore. It’s a future promise that has been given to everyone who has believed in Jesus. And maybe you are here today saying, how do I know He is the way and the truth? Well Jesus said He was in John 14:6 - “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” You may still say, “I just don’t know?” Great! Listen…doubt will come, so…
Doubt will come, so remember truth or seek truth and realize the security you can have today in God. In this life we will try to find rest in many things but know that true REST can only come from God, the one who gave everything for us by sending His Son to die on the cross. Why did He die? Because of our rebellion, and our not wanting to obey Him. Yet even in our condition He chose to give us a lifeguard, a redeemer to die and pay the price we deserve. It is in His Son’s name, Jesus, that we can stop being restless. We can answer our DOUBTS with TRUTH and find SECURITY and REST in the One who watches over our coming and going both now and forevermore.