"Keeping You Safe"
Psalm 121:1-2 - I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Let your mind imagine a scene from ancient Israel: night had begun to fall, and a little band of travelers had stopped to make camp. There was no police force around to keep law and order across the vast countryside. Marauding thieves roamed the hills, and wild beasts had to be dealt with as they would attack travelers camping near their dens. It was precarious at best and dangerous at worst.
It may have been in such circumstances that the writer of this pilgrim psalm said, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills." Looking up to the rolling hills ringing the valley, he remembered the guardian God of Israel whose existence was as solid as those hills and His love just as firm. Knowing full well the lurking dangers that may be waiting, the traveler said to himself: "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth."
Night and day, year in and year out, each one of us is on the road that leads through the wilderness of this world. Whether it's the loss of a dearly loved one, the malice of others towards us, or the folly of our own mistakes, life's circumstances can cause us to lose heart, to wonder if things will ever be set right again and if there is any real value in going on living.
When the world presses in hard against you, don't give up. Don't say that it doesn't make any difference whether you believe in Christ or not. It makes all the difference in the world. It's the difference between living in fear and living in faith. When things look black, lift up your eyes to the hills. It was on one of those hills that Jesus, God's only Son, gave up His life for you and me. And then three days later rose in victory over sin, death, and the devil.
This is the triumphant truth we share as Christians—that no matter what our circumstances are we are victors in Christ. As the apostle Paul has written, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
This was Paul's victory; this is our victory; this is God's victory won for us at the expense of His Son. The Lord will keep you from all evil. You may still know pain, disappointment, sorrow, and the grief we know from death, but God will keep you from all evil. He has put everything right in Christ. "The LORD is your keeper ... The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore" (Psalm 121:5a, 7-8).
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, when things look grim, lift up our eyes to see Your Son, exalted in glory at Your right hand. In His Name we pray. Amen.
Based on "More Than a Wish," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Do you have any fond memories of hiking or camping? Where were you?
2. What did Paul mean when he said he had been "crucified with Christ"?
3. Have you ever been in a frightening situation where you turned it over to God?
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 32 Psalms 51 John 3:16-36
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"