Summary: As a father would protect his children, Psalm 121 suggests three ways God protects us from danger.
When I was a boy, my family’s home was broken into three times. Valuables were stolen, memories gone. We realized how unsafe and unprotected we truly were. After the third time, my father decided that this would never happen again. He began to turn our
little house into a fortress. For starters, he built a huge gate surrounding our yard with small sharp spikes on top. It stayed constantly locked so the only entrance was by climbing over this fence. If a would be intruder made it over the fence, my father
purchased the most violent dog I’ve ever known, a chow he named Scrappy (if that name doesn’t tell you enough)! This dog was trained to be mean, and he did his job well. If somehow a would be intruder made it past the fence and Scrappy, he placed big strong iron bars over the all the windows and several deadlocks upon the doors. This would take hours for even the best burglar. But if somehow one made it over the fence, past Scrappy, through the bars, and past the deadlocks, my father had a vast assortment of weaponry and was well equipped to fill any would be intruder with his ample supply of ammunition. Some might have looked at all that my father did and said, “He has gone
too far.” However my father was serious about protecting his children. I’d like you to know this morning that our Heavenly Father is serious about protecting His children.
All of us long to feel safe. We want to know that we are protected from danger. We want policemen protecting our streets so we will feel protected at home. The restaurants we attend have safety inspections so we will feel protected when we eat. The cars we drive have to meet safety standards so we will feel protected in case we are in an accident. We want to feel protected from foreign invaders so we emphasize the importance of a strong defense. But where does our safety really come from? Does it
come from our policemen, inspectors, or a strong national defense? Let us read in the Word of God the answer to this question. [Read text here.]
In our text this morning, we read a Psalm that Israelites would often sing while making their yearly pilgrimage to worship in the temple in Jerusalem. For many, this was a long and treacherous trip. The miles were long and the traveler was vulnerable. There were dangers that awaited them on many fronts. They were many things that could go wrong, many bad things that could happen. They had no interstates on which
to travel or DMV to call on their cell phones if they were in trouble. They had reason to fear. They longed to feel the same safety and protection that we still long for in our world today. So, they would sing this song. Psalm 121 was written to remind God’s people as to how He protects them in times in danger. We see this in the first two verses which serve as an introduction. Will I lift up my eyes to the hills, one asks, where the pagan temples could be seen upon the mountain tops? Where does my help come from? The answer is our theme this morning: “My help comes from the Lord”. That word for “help” also signifies protection. God is being pictured as our guardian. The dangers before us may not be the same as the ones they faced, but our unchanging God still protects us from danger. The question then is, how does God protects us from danger? Our text suggests three ways God protects us from danger.
I) First, we see that God protects us from danger by keeping us from falling. (verses 3-4)
For the traveler en route to worship in Jerusalem, there were many dangers. One of those dangers was that of falling. When verse three says that “He will not allow your foot to be moved,” that verb often translates “slip”. A person could fall and sprain an
ankle, or break a leg or hip. When was the last time you tried to walk a hundred miles through mountainous territory on a broken ankle? Get the point? For us, this seems petty, but for them, it was a major concern and a very real danger. So God promised his fearful journeymen that He would not “let their foot be moved”. This doesn’t mean that God forbids us from sinning. It doesn’t mean we won’t have to face sometimes dreadful consequences for our actions. It does mean that God nourishes us, not only through the
harm that others would bring upon us, but even the harm we might bring upon ourselves.
My wife and I recently visited with a couple who were the proud parents of a baby boy, just over a year old. As soon as we entered their home, we noticed that everything about this house was dedicated to protecting their baby. There were plastic plugs in the