January 3, 2005

Psalm 121 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

Psalm 121
(January 2, 2005 Sermon Notes)

New Year’s is a time for looking back and for looking ahead. As the church, we place our memories and our hopes in the framework of faith. Psalm 121 helps us do that. It’s a song Israel sang en route to Jerusalem for the feasts, but it’s also an everyday song. And it’s a song for us.


Israel looked forward to arriving in Jerusalem because it was the place where they could draw near to God to feast in his presence. On Mount Eden and Mount Sinai and now on Mount Zion and Mount Moriah, God met with his people on mountains. As Israel approached Jerusalem, she looked up at the mountains and confessed that her help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.

Our help doesn’t come from the sea, which symbolized the Gentiles, or from the land, which symbolized Israel, but from the mountains, which pointed to heaven, the throneroom of God. That was Israel’s confession and it is ours, too — and we ought to be saying it out loud together!

Our God is the maker of heaven and earth. He created everything and in Christ we get to draw near to him on his holy mountain, Mount Zion, and in the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22). That’s what happens in our covenant renewal service: as Christ’s church we ascend to heaven to draw near to God and to find our help in him, the maker of heaven and earth.


Yahweh watches over his people so that their feet don’t slip (v. 3). No matter what happens, he is making sure that you reach your destination. We sleep and slumber, but he doesn’t. He won’t take his eyes off you for a second because you belong to him. He isn’t the keeper of the world; he’s the keeper of Israel. And that means that he’s your keeper.

Yahweh isn’t simply able to protect you. He’s also willing to!


Yahweh’s protection lasts our whole lives long. The promise in this psalm doesn’t mean that we will never suffer. The psalms surrounding this one (120, 123, 124) talk about God’s people suffering. But Psalm 121 does promise that in all our suffering, Yahweh will preserve our lives with him.

That protection lasts all day long. He shades us from the sun and moon (vv. 5-6) and also from the rulers that they represent (Gen. 1:17-18). That protection follows you out the door and back home again (v. 8 ). It lasts from now on (v. 8 ) and even death doesn’t stop it.

As we look back at 2004, we see our Keeper’s care. And as we look ahead to 2005, we anticipate more of the same because Yahweh, the God of Israel, is our God, our almighty, watchful, constant Keeper.

Posted by John Barach @ 3:25 pm | Discuss (0)

Leave a Reply