Devotional: First Thursday after Easter, April 16, 2020
I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life!
Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.
God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
God guards you from every evil,
He guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
He guards you now, He guards you always.
Psalm 121 The Message
Psalm 121 is one of my favorite Psalms. I suspect it is a favorite Psalm for many people. It especially resonates with many of us who live in the Wenatchee Valley, as we often look up to the foothills around our valley. Right now, they are garbed in the green of springtime.
The whole Psalm is a hymn about how God guards us, from every possible evil. God is on guard for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
Unlike the Roman guards stationed at Jesus’ tomb, God is never scared. He does not fall asleep on the job, or run away in fear. Quite the opposite! God is watching over us, even when we are afraid, and in need of His mercy.
God is the ultimate guardian. This is an important reminder to all of us, especially during these days of overwhelming uncertainty.
Yet the wording of the Psalm is absolute, and reassuring. God guards you from EVERY evil! God guards you now, and ALWAYS! That includes the year 2020, a year we will never forget.
The Psalm is an bold, reassuring statement from God’s holy word that God will guard us through every difficulty, every valley, every disease, every trial, and every other roadblock which might threaten to try to derail our faith.
The hills around our valley have been there for thousands of years. They are a constant for us. Yet the Psalmist reminds us that the love of God is more reliable, more solid, and more helpful than even those age-old hills. Our help comes from something even more solid than our mountains: it comes from the Lord. Praise His holy name!
God of the Mountains (El Shaddai),
When we are scared, remind us of Your care, and Your love for us. When we are threatened by real or unseen enemies, guard us with Your protective arms. When we are tired, let us relax into a refreshing sleep. Help us to remember that You are on guard, watching over us, even while we slumber. When we quake at an uncertain future, remind us that You have promised to guard us, now and always. May You always be praised! We pray this prayer in Your holy name. Amen.