Psalm 121:1-8 Expository Devotional

v1 A Song of degrees.  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  

  The downward look sees this world and its problems, the upward look sees God and His help ("assistance, more freq. designates, the Assistant [God]").    This is a choice each man/woman makes--look down at your circumstances or look up to your Help!

v2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 

  "Assistance" is available from the Lord.  The assurance of assistance is based on God's power and might ("made heaven and earth").  What He made, He can assist!  This is David's testimony--is it yours? 

v3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

  If you will take a stand ("thy foot") for God, despite your circumstances, He will not allow circumstances to overcome you.  This, again, is based on His power and ability (v2).  Not only will you not be overcome, but you will not be overtaken, for God who keeps ("exercises great care over; takes care of, guards") you will be ever vigilante over you.

v4 Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

  For David this was a present reality, for us it is an example to put our trust in.  God "kept" the nation Israel, therefore God will "keep" us who place our faith and trust in His Son.

v5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.  

  Look no further.   The Lord who kept a whole nation will keep you individually.  It is the Lord who "exercises great care over" you--personally  ("thy") and perpetually ("is").  As a result of His care, He alone is your refuge  (shade = "shadow; shade, protection, defense"), who protects from the "western side" ("right hand"). 

v6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 

  The greatest forces of this natural world will be stayed for your sake.  The sun rules the forces of temperature, while the moon rules the forces of the seas.   How difficult can your circumstances be in the face of God's control over nature?

v7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.  

  The Lord who "keeps" ("exercises great care over") is also the Lord who preserves ("takes care of, guards  ").  (Keeps & preserves are the same Hebrew word.)   He "guards" you against all evil ("that which is against God's original and ongoing intention and detrimental in terms of its effects on man") in direct proportion to your trust in and obedience to Him (v1,2).   To be "preserved from all evil" has direct application to this life, while to "preserve thy soul" has application to eternal life.  To entrust your earthly life to God is to be preserved from its evil.  To entrust your soul to God is to be assured of eternal life, since the soul is the ever-living part of man.

v8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

  The Lord who preserves from evil, who preserves the soul, will also preserve you in the midst of your daily activities ("going out, coming in").  The fullness of God meets the totality of man's needs.  Finally we see God's timeline for the sinner and saint alike.  First, it is today ("from this time forth") that men/women must make the decision to trust God, whether for/in the circumstances of life, or for the eternal need of forgiveness of sins/salvation.  Second, it is for evermore that God will exercise His care, and guard you if you will but put your complete faith and trust in Him.  Three times it is said that God will keep you, and three times it is said that God will preserve you?   Will you believe God today, and trust Him for evermore?